Are easy grading practices induced by low demand? Evidence from Italy
In this paper we investigate whether grades are used by educational institutions as a competition variable to attract and retain students. Using a sample of almost 26,000 students enrolled at an Italian University, we document that grades vary significantly across degrees. After controlling for students’ characteristics, class-size, classmates’ quality and degree fixed effects, it emerges that students obtain better grades and are less likely to drop-out when their degree course experiences an excess of supply. We adopt an instrumental variable strategy to account for endogeneity problems and instrument the excess of supply by using the total number of universities offering each degree course. Our IV estimates confirm that the teaching staff on degree course facing low demand tend to set lower academic standards with the result that their students obtain better grades and have a lower probability of dropping out than they might otherwise.
|Date of creation:||06 Apr 2008|
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Web page: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de
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- Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 2001.
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- David J. Zimmerman, 2003. "Peer Effects in Academic Outcomes: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(1), pages 9-23, February.
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- Massimiliano Bratti & Stefano Staffolani, 2001. "Performance accademica e scelta della facoltà universitaria: aspetti teorici e evidenza empirica," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 91(6), pages 203-244, July-Augu.
- Massimiliano BRATTI & Stefano STAFFOLANI, 2001. "Performance accademica e scelta della facolta' universitaria: aspetti teorici e evidenza empirica," Working Papers 152, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
- Bruce Sacerdote, 2001. "Peer Effects with Random Assignment: Results for Dartmouth Roommates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 681-704.
- Bruce Sacerdote, 2000. "Peer Effects with Random Assignment: Results for Dartmouth Roommates," NBER Working Papers 7469, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Donald G. Freeman, 1999. "Grade Divergence as a Market Outcome," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(4), pages 344-351, December.
- 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.
- Moulton, Brent R, 1990. "An Illustration of a Pitfall in Estimating the Effects of Aggregate Variables on Micro Unit," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 334-338, May. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
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