Grades as Information

Posted: 6 May 2008

See all articles by Darren P. Grant

Darren P. Grant

Sam Houston State University - College of Business Administration - Department of Economics and International Business

Abstract

We determine the degree to which observed student performance in microeconomics principles can be attributed, inferentially, to three kinds of student academic productivity, the instructor, demographics, and unmeasurables. The empirical approach utilizes an ordered probit model that relates student performance in micro to grades in prior coursework, demographic information, instructor characteristics, and SAT scores. The micro grade is somewhat informative about general productivity but conveys little information about refined types of academic productivity or instructor grading standards, even though there is great variation in the average grades given by different instructors. Because of a large unpredictable component of grade determination, however, differences in micro performance across individuals are mostly attributable to non-productivity related factors. As a result, it is very difficult to improve the information individual grades provide about student productivity. Averages of several grades, however, can provide useful information about the productivity of students and the effectiveness of instructors.

Keywords: Education economics, human capital, information

JEL Classification: I29, J24, D83

Suggested Citation

Grant, Darren P., Grades as Information. Economics of Education Review, Vol. 26, No. 2, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1129431

Darren P. Grant (Contact Author)

Sam Houston State University - College of Business Administration - Department of Economics and International Business ( email )

SHSU Box 2118
Huntsville, TX 77341-2118
United States
936-294-4324 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.shsu.edu/dpg006

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