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Double Standards in Educational Standards: Are Disadvantaged Students Being Graded More Leniently?

  • Himmler, Oliver
  • Schwager, Robert

A simple model of decentralised graduation standards is presented. It is shown that a school whose students are disadvantaged on the labour market applies less demanding standards because such students have less incentives to graduate. The model's predictions are tested using Dutch school-level data. Since students in the Netherlands have to participate both in a central and in a school specific examination, we can identify the grading policy of individual schools. We find that schools which harbour greater shares of disadvantaged students tend to set lower standards. This effect is largest in the branch of secondary schooling preparing for university.

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Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 07-016.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:5504
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Simon Burgess & Ellen Greaves, 2009. "Test Scores, Subjective Assessment and Stereotyping of Ethnic Minorities," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 09/221, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  4. Bishop, John H, 1997. "The Effect of National Standards and Curriculum-Based Exams on Achievement," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 260-64, May.
  5. Hendrik Jürges & Wolfram F. Richter & Kerstin Schneider, 2004. "Teacher Quality and Incentives: Theoretical and Empirical Effects of Standards on Teacher Quality," CESifo Working Paper Series 1296, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Epple, Dennis & Romano, Richard E, 1998. "Competition between Private and Public Schools, Vouchers, and Peer-Group Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 33-62, March.
  7. Nechyba, Thomas J, 1999. " School Finance Induced Migration and Stratification Patterns: The Impact of Private School Vouchers," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 1(1), pages 5-50.
  8. Costrell, Robert M., 1997. "Can centralized educational standards raise welfare?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 271-293, September.
  9. Dennis Epple & Elizabeth Newlon & Richard Romano, 2000. "Ability Tracking, School Competition, and the Distribution of Educational Benefits," NBER Working Papers 7854, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Julian R. Betts, 1998. "The two-legged stool: the neglected role of educational standards in improving America's public schools," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Mar, pages 97-116.
  11. David Kiss, 2010. "Are Immigrants Graded Worse in Primary and Secondary Education? – Evidence for German Schools," Ruhr Economic Papers 0223, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  12. William Chan & Li Hao & Wing Suen, 2007. "A Signaling Theory Of Grade Inflation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 48(3), pages 1065-1090, 08.
  13. Hendrik Jürges & Kerstin Schneider & Felix Büchel, 2003. "The Effect of Central Exit Examinations on Student Achievement: Quasi-experimental Evidence from TIMSS Germany," CESifo Working Paper Series 939, CESifo Group Munich.
  14. Elke Lüdemann & Guido Schwerdt, 2010. "Migration Background and Educational Tracking: Is there a Double Disadvantage for Second-Generation Immigrants?," CESifo Working Paper Series 3256, CESifo Group Munich.
  15. Wikstrom, Christina & Wikstrom, Magnus, 2005. "Grade inflation and school competition: an empirical analysis based on the Swedish upper secondary schools," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 309-322, June.
  16. repec:dgr:uvatin:20010028 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Hsieh, Chang-Tai & Urquiola, Miguel, 2006. "The effects of generalized school choice on achievement and stratification: Evidence from Chile's voucher program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1477-1503, September.
  18. Bishop, J., 1997. "The Effect of national Standards and Curriculum-Based Exams on Achievement," Papers 97-01, Cornell - Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies.
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