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Tougher Educational Exam Leading to Worse Selection

  • Eduardo de Carvalho Andrade
  • Luciano I. de Castro

This paper shows a somehow counterintuitive result: an increase in the exam diculty may reduce the average quality (productivity) of selected individuals. Since the exam does not verify all skills, when its standard rises, candidates with relatively low skills emphasized in the test and high skills demanded in the job may no longer qualify. Hence, an increase in the testing standard may be counterproductive. One implication is that policies should emphasize alignment between the skills tested and those required in the actual jobs.

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File URL: http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/research/math/papers/1469.pdf
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Paper provided by Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science in its series Discussion Papers with number 1469.

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Date of creation: 01 Sep 2008
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Handle: RePEc:nwu:cmsems:1469
Contact details of provider: Postal: Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science, Northwestern University, 580 Jacobs Center, 2001 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208-2014
Phone: 847/491-3527
Fax: 847/491-2530
Web page: http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/research/math/
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  1. Flavio Cunha & James Heckman & Susanne Schennach, 2010. "Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation," NBER Working Papers 15664, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Morris M. Kleiner, 2000. "Occupational Licensing," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 189-202, Fall.
  3. James Heckman & Pedro Carneiro & Flavio Cunha, 2004. "The Technology of Skill Formation," 2004 Meeting Papers 681, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Derek Neal, 2002. "How Vouchers Could Change the Market for Education," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(4), pages 25-44, Fall.
  5. Hanushek, Eric A. & Rivkin, Steven G., 2006. "Teacher Quality," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
  6. Gottlieb, Daniel & Moreira, Humberto Ataíde & Araújo, Aloísio Pessoa de, 2004. "A model of mixed signals with applications to countersignaling an the GED," Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) 553, FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
  7. James J. Heckman & John Eric Humphries & Paul A. LaFontaine & Pedro L. Rodriguez, 2008. "Taking the Easy Way Out: How the GED Testing Program Induces Students to Drop Out," NBER Working Papers 14044, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Joshua D. Angrist & Jonathan Guryan, 2003. "Does Teacher Testing Raise Teacher Quality? Evidence from State Certification Requirements," NBER Working Papers 9545, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Roger Klein & Richard H. Spady & Andrew Weiss, 1987. "Factors Affecting the Output and Quit Propensities of Production Workers," NBER Working Papers 2184, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Julian R. Betts & Robert M. Costrell, 2000. "Incentives and Equity Under Standards-Based Reform," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2000-08, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
  11. Kane, Thomas J. & Rockoff, Jonah E. & Staiger, Douglas O., 2008. "What does certification tell us about teacher effectiveness? Evidence from New York City," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 615-631, December.
  12. Costrell, Robert M, 1994. "A Simple Model of Educational Standards," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 956-71, September.
  13. Thomas S. Dee & Brian A. Jacob, 2006. "Do High School Exit Exams Influence Educational Attainment or Labor Market Performance?," NBER Working Papers 12199, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Shapiro, Carl, 1986. "Investment, Moral Hazard, and Occupational Licensing," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(5), pages 843-62, October.
  15. Betts, Julian R, 1998. "The Impact of Educational Standards on the Level and Distribution of Earnings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 266-75, March.
  16. Yona Rubinstein & James J. Heckman, 2001. "The Importance of Noncognitive Skills: Lessons from the GED Testing Program," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 145-149, May.
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