Top of the Class: The Importance of Ordinal Rank

45 Pages Posted: 25 Jun 2014  

Richard Murphy

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Felix Weinhardt

Humboldt University of Berlin; London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Date Written: May 23, 2014

Abstract

This paper examines the long-run impact of ordinal rank during primary school on productivity using comprehensive English administrative data. Identification is obtained from variation in test score distributions across cohorts and subjects, such that the same score relative to the class mean can have different ranks. Conditional on cardinal measures of achievement, being ranked highly during primary school has large effects on secondary school achievement, with the impact of rank being more important for boys than girls. Using additional survey data we find that the development of confidence is the most likely mechanisms for this effect on task-specific productivity.

Keywords: rank, non-cognitive skills, peer effects, productivity

JEL Classification: I210, J240, M540

Suggested Citation

Murphy, Richard and Weinhardt, Felix, Top of the Class: The Importance of Ordinal Rank (May 23, 2014). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 4815. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2457864

Richard Murphy (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Felix Weinhardt

Humboldt University of Berlin ( email )

Unter den Linden 6
Berlin, Berlin 10099
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.fweinhardt.de

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

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