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Grade Inflation under the Threat of Students' Nuisance: Theory and Evidence

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  • Wan-Ju Iris Franz

    () (Department of Economics, University of California-Irvine)

Abstract

This study examines a channel, students’ nuisance, to explain grade inflation. "Students’ nuisance" is defined by "students’ pestering the professors for better grades." This paper contains two parts: the game theoretic model and the empirical tests. The model shows that the potential threat of students’ nuisance can induce the professors to inflate grades. Ceteris paribus, a student is more likely to study little and to pester the professor for a better grade if: 1. the professor is lenient; 2. the studying cost is high; 3. the reward from pestering is high; 4. the cost of pestering is low. My original survey data show that 70%+ of professors think that students' nuisance is "annoying" and "costly in terms of time, effort, and energy." Regression results indicate that themore the student values the grade, the higher the studying cost, and the more likely the student is to pester the professor.

Suggested Citation

  • Wan-Ju Iris Franz, 2007. "Grade Inflation under the Threat of Students' Nuisance: Theory and Evidence," Working Papers 070806, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:irv:wpaper:070806
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    File URL: https://www.economics.uci.edu/files/docs/workingpapers/2007-08/franz-06.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. J. S. Butler & T. Aldrich Finegan & John J. Siegfried, 1998. "Does more calculus improve student learning in intermediate micro- and macroeconomic theory?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(2), pages 185-202.
    2. Krautmann, Anthony C. & Sander, William, 1999. "Grades and student evaluations of teachers," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 59-63, February.
    3. Kiridaran Kanagaretnam & Robert Mathieu & Alex Thevaranjan, 2003. "An economic analysis of the use of student evaluations: implications for universities," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(1), pages 1-13.
    4. Kwang Soo Cheong, 2000. "Grade Inflation at the University of Hawaii-Manoa," Working Papers 200002, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
    5. Edward P. Lazear, 2001. "Educational Production," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(3), pages 777-803.
    6. Wikstrom, Christina & Wikstrom, Magnus, 2005. "Grade inflation and school competition: an empirical analysis based on the Swedish upper secondary schools," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 309-322, June.
    7. Paul M. Anglin & Ronald Meng, 2000. "Evidence on Grades and Grade Inflation at Ontario's Universities," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 26(3), pages 361-368, September.
    8. Richard Sabot & John Wakeman-Linn, 1991. "Grade Inflation and Course Choice," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 159-170, Winter.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Grade inflation; Grade exaggeration; Students' nuisance;

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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