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The Impact of Grade Inflation on Higher Education Enrolment and Earnings

Nordin, Martin LU ; Heckley, Gawain LU and Gerdtham, Ulf-Göran LU (2019) In Working Papers
Abstract
Although grade inflation is unfair and may imply inefficient allocation of human resources, current knowledge of grade inflation effects on individual outcomes is scarce. One explanation is probably the challenge of measuring and estimating causal grade inflation effects. This study examines the consequences of grade inflation at the upper secondary education level on enrolment in higher education and earnings for Sweden. Rigorous diagnostic testing supports our empirical approach. Grade inflation at the school level affects earnings mainly through choice of university and the chosen field of education, rather than through enrolment per se, because attending universities of higher quality and pursuing high-paying fields of education have a... (More)
Although grade inflation is unfair and may imply inefficient allocation of human resources, current knowledge of grade inflation effects on individual outcomes is scarce. One explanation is probably the challenge of measuring and estimating causal grade inflation effects. This study examines the consequences of grade inflation at the upper secondary education level on enrolment in higher education and earnings for Sweden. Rigorous diagnostic testing supports our empirical approach. Grade inflation at the school level affects earnings mainly through choice of university and the chosen field of education, rather than through enrolment per se, because attending universities of higher quality and pursuing high-paying fields of education have a substantial impact on earnings. On the other hand, high-skilled students attending upper secondary schools without grade inflation and, unexpectedly, low-skilled women attending "lenient" schools are harmed by this. This causes extensive unfairness and, plausibly, detrimental welfare effects. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Working Paper
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Grade Inflation, Upper-secondary Education, Higher Education, earnings, I20, I21, J24
in
Working Papers
issue
2019:1
pages
40 pages
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
eb549083-0628-432f-8e2e-6f3fdc2026cd
alternative location
https://swopec.hhs.se/lunewp/abs/lunewp2019_001.htm
date added to LUP
2019-01-15 11:41:08
date last changed
2019-01-15 11:41:08
@misc{eb549083-0628-432f-8e2e-6f3fdc2026cd,
  abstract     = {Although grade inflation is unfair and may imply inefficient allocation of human resources, current knowledge of grade inflation effects on individual outcomes is scarce. One explanation is probably the challenge of measuring and estimating causal grade inflation effects. This study examines the consequences of grade inflation at the upper secondary education level on enrolment in higher education and earnings for Sweden. Rigorous diagnostic testing supports our empirical approach. Grade inflation at the school level affects earnings mainly through choice of university and the chosen field of education, rather than through enrolment per se, because attending universities of higher quality and pursuing high-paying fields of education have a substantial impact on earnings. On the other hand, high-skilled students attending upper secondary schools without grade inflation and, unexpectedly, low-skilled women attending "lenient" schools are harmed by this. This causes extensive unfairness and, plausibly, detrimental welfare effects. },
  author       = {Nordin, Martin and Heckley, Gawain and Gerdtham, Ulf-Göran},
  keyword      = {Grade Inflation,Upper-secondary Education,Higher Education,earnings,I20,I21,J24},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Working Paper},
  number       = {2019:1},
  pages        = {40},
  series       = {Working Papers},
  title        = {The Impact of Grade Inflation on Higher Education Enrolment and Earnings},
  year         = {2019},
}