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

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  • Himmler, Oliver
  • Schwager, Robert

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Himmler, Oliver & Schwager, Robert, 2007. "Double Standards in Educational Standards: Are Disadvantaged Students Being Graded More Leniently?," ZEW Discussion Papers 07-016, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:5504
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Epple, Dennis & Newlon, Elizabeth & Romano, Richard, 2002. "Ability tracking, school competition, and the distribution of educational benefits," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 1-48, January.
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    10. repec:zbw:rwirep:0223 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. 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, August.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Alessandro Tampieri, 2016. "Social background effects on school and job opportunities," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(5), pages 496-510, September.
    2. De Witte, Kristof & Geys, Benny & Solondz, Catharina, 2014. "Public expenditures, educational outcomes and grade inflation: Theory and evidence from a policy intervention in the Netherlands," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 152-166.
    3. A. Tampieri, 2011. "Students' Social Origins and Targeted Grade Inflation," Working Papers wp801, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    4. David Kiss, 2013. "Are immigrants and girls graded worse? Results of a matching approach," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(5), pages 447-463, December.
    5. 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.
    6. Kiss, David, 2010. "Are Immigrants Graded Worse in Primary and Secondary Education? – Evidence for German Schools," Ruhr Economic Papers 223, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    7. Robert Schwager, 2018. "Majority Vote on Educational Standards," CESifo Working Paper Series 6845, CESifo Group Munich.
    8. repec:zbw:rwirep:0223 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. repec:got:cegedp:143 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Oliver Himmler, 2009. "The Effects of School Competition on Academic Achievement and Grading Standards," CESifo Working Paper Series 2676, CESifo Group Munich.
    11. Schwager, Robert, 2013. "Majority Vote on Educational Standards," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79971, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    12. 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.
    13. Stefano STAFFOLANI & Maria Cristina RECCHIONI, 2016. "Increasing Graduation and Calling for More Autonomy in Higher Education: Is It a Good Thing? A Theoretical Model," Working Papers 419, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
    14. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    education; grading; social status; schools; Netherlands;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination

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