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Performance-related Funding of Universities – Does more Competition Lead to Grade Inflation?

Author

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  • Bauer, Thomas K.
  • Grave, Barbara S.

Abstract

German universities are regarded as being under-financed, inefficient, and performing below average if compared to universities in other European countries and the US. Starting in the 1990s, several German federal states implemented reforms to improve this situation. An important part of these reforms has been the introduction of indicator-based funding systems. These financing systems aimed at increasing the competition between universities by making their public funds dependent on their relative performance concerning different output measures, such as the share of students obtaining a degree or the amount of third party funds. This paper evaluates whether the indicator-based funding created unintended incentives, i.e. whether the reform caused a grade inflation. Estimating mean as well as quantile treatment effects, we cannot support the hypothesis that increased competition between universities causes grade inflation.

Suggested Citation

  • Bauer, Thomas K. & Grave, Barbara S., 2011. "Performance-related Funding of Universities – Does more Competition Lead to Grade Inflation?," Ruhr Economic Papers 288, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:rwirep:288
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Martins, Pedro S., 2009. "Individual Teacher Incentives, Student Achievement and Grade Inflation," IZA Discussion Papers 4051, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Siegfried, John J & Fels, Rendigs, 1979. "Research on Teaching College Economics: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 923-969, September.
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    5. David A Love & Matthew J Kotchen, 2010. "Grades, Course Evaluations, and Academic Incentives," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan;Eastern Economic Association, vol. 36(2), pages 151-163, Spring.
    6. Krautmann, Anthony C. & Sander, William, 1999. "Grades and student evaluations of teachers," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 59-63, February.
    7. Simon Burgess & Carol Propper & Helen Slater & Deborah Wilson, 2005. "Who wins and who loses from school accountability? The distribution of educational gain in English secondary schools," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 05/128, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    8. Reback, Randall, 2008. "Teaching to the rating: School accountability and the distribution of student achievement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1394-1415, June.
    9. Jacob, Brian A., 2005. "Accountability, incentives and behavior: the impact of high-stakes testing in the Chicago Public Schools," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 761-796, June.
    10. B. Curtis Eaton & Mukesh Eswaran, 2008. "Differential Grading Standards and Student Incentives," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 34(2), pages 215-236, June.
    11. Othman Joumady & Catherine Ris, 2005. "Performance in European higher education: A non-parametric production frontier approach," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(2), pages 189-205.
    12. Markus Frolich & Blaise Melly, 2010. "Estimation of quantile treatment effects with Stata," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 10(3), pages 423-457, September.
    13. Manuel Bagues & Mauro Sylos Labini & Natalia Zinovyeva, 2008. "Differential Grading Standards and University Funding: Evidence from Italy," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 54(2), pages 149-176.
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    Cited by:

    1. Burgard, Claudia & Grave, Barbara S., 2013. "Does it Pay Off to Incentivize Universities? – Performance Funding in the German Higher Education System," Ruhr Economic Papers 457, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    2. repec:zbw:rwirep:0457 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Ehlers, Tim & Schwager, Robert, 2012. "Honest Grading, Grade Inflation and Reputation," Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 62051, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    4. repec:got:cegedp:143 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Ehlers, Tim & Schwager, Robert, 2012. "Honest grading, grade inflation and reputation," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 143, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    6. Claudia Burgard & Barbara S. Grave, 2013. "Does it Pay Off to Incentivize Universities? – Performance Funding in the German Higher Education System Abstract: This paper analyzes the effect of the introduction of performance-related funding in ," Ruhr Economic Papers 0457, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Grade inflation; higher education funding; university competition; Grade inflation; higher education funding; university competition;

    JEL classification:

    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid

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