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Tougher educational exam leading to worse selection

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

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    File URL: http://www.economics-ejournal.org/economics/discussionpapers/2011-2
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    Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Economics Discussion Papers with number 2011-2.

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    Date of creation: 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwedp:20112
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    1. De Fraja, Gianni & Oliveira, Tania & Zanchi, Luisa, 2005. "Must Try Harder. Evaluating the Role of Effort in Educational Attainment," CEPR Discussion Papers 5048, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. De Fraja, Gianni & Romano, Richard E, 2002. "The Economics of Education: Editors Introduction," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(3), pages 205-08, July.
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