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Putting Grades in Context

46 Pages Posted: 21 May 2009 Last revised: 9 Oct 2009

Talia Bar

University of Connecticut - Department of Economics

Vrinda Kadiyali

Cornell University - Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management

Asaf Zussman

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Department of Economics

Date Written: September 22, 2009

Abstract

Concerns over grade inflation and the profusion of high grades have led institutions of higher education in the United States to adopt various grading reforms. An element common to several prominent reforms is providing information on the distribution of grades in different courses. The main aims of such “grades in context” policies are to make grades more informative to transcript readers and to curb grade inflation. We provide a simple model to demonstrate that such policies can have complex effects on atterns of enrollment and student ability distributions. These effects may in turn lower the informativeness of some transcripts, increase the average grade, and lower welfare

Keywords: grades in context, grade inflation, information, course selection, higher education

JEL Classification: I21

Suggested Citation

Bar, Talia and Kadiyali, Vrinda and Zussman, Asaf, Putting Grades in Context (September 22, 2009). Johnson School Research Paper Series No. 26-09. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1406681 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1406681

Talia R. Bar (Contact Author)

University of Connecticut - Department of Economics ( email )

365 Fairfield Way, U-1063
Storrs, CT 06269-1063
United States

Vrinda Kadiyali

Cornell University - Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States
607-255-1985 (Phone)
607-254-4590 (Fax)

Asaf Zussman

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Department of Economics ( email )

Israel

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