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Tougher educational exam leading to worse selection

Author

Listed:
  • de Carvalho Andrade, Eduardo
  • de Castro, Luciano I.

Abstract

A parallel of education with transformative processes in standard markets suggest that a more severe control of the quality of the output will improve the overall quality of the education. This paper shows a somehow counterintuitive result: an increase in the exam difficulty 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, rather than increase exams' difficulties.

Suggested Citation

  • de Carvalho Andrade, Eduardo & de Castro, Luciano I., 2011. "Tougher educational exam leading to worse selection," Economics Discussion Papers 2011-2, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwedp:20112
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. De Fraja, Gianni & Romano, Richard E, 2002. "The Economics of Education: Editors Introduction," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(3), pages 205-208, July.
    2. Gianni De Fraja & Tania Oliveira & Luisa Zanchi, 2010. "Must Try Harder: Evaluating the Role of Effort in Educational Attainment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(3), pages 577-597, August.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Interesting readings
      by Ajay Shah in Ajay Shah's blog on 2011-04-22 00:24:00

    More about this item

    Keywords

    school standards; signaling model; cognitive skills; non-cognitive skills;

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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