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Optimal Grading


Zubrickas, Robertas (2011). Optimal Grading. In: 26th Annual Congress of the European Economic Association, Oslo, 25 August 2011 - 29 August 2011.

Abstract

Assuming that teachers are concerned with human capital formation and students - with ability signaling, in this paper we model a teacher-student relationship as an agency problem with conflicting interests. In our model, the teacher elicits effort from a student rewarding for it with a grade, the utility of which to the student is the ability signal inferred by the job market. In the event that the job
market does not observe individual teachers' grading practices, teachers find grades as costless rewards and optimally choose to be lenient in grading. As a result, "the problem of the commons" of good grades emerges leading to the depreciation of grading standards and grade inflation. The prediction of the model that the lower the expectations the teacher holds about her students' abilities, the flatter the grading rules she sets up is empirically supported.

Abstract

Assuming that teachers are concerned with human capital formation and students - with ability signaling, in this paper we model a teacher-student relationship as an agency problem with conflicting interests. In our model, the teacher elicits effort from a student rewarding for it with a grade, the utility of which to the student is the ability signal inferred by the job market. In the event that the job
market does not observe individual teachers' grading practices, teachers find grades as costless rewards and optimally choose to be lenient in grading. As a result, "the problem of the commons" of good grades emerges leading to the depreciation of grading standards and grade inflation. The prediction of the model that the lower the expectations the teacher holds about her students' abilities, the flatter the grading rules she sets up is empirically supported.

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2 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper), refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Event End Date:29 August 2011
Deposited On:21 Feb 2012 14:22
Last Modified:07 Dec 2017 12:55
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/iere.12121
Official URL:http://www.eea-esem.com/files/papers/eea-esem/2011/1501/Optimal%20Grading_v2.pdf
Related URLs:http://eea-esem2011oslo.org/
http://www.zora.uzh.ch/51746/
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:6128

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