Am I the Big Fish? The Effect of Ordinal Rank on Student Academic Performance in Middle School

74 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2018 Last revised: 6 Sep 2019

See all articles by Han Yu

Han Yu

University of Memphis

Date Written: March 25, 2019

Abstract

This paper investigates the causal effect of ordinal rank on students' academic performance in the short run. This paper provides the first direct evidence of the relationship between objective rank and students' self-perceived rank, as well as of the impact of the self-perceived rank on students' academic attainments. The results show that students' objective rank has a significant positive effect on students' test scores. Nonetheless, when self-perceived rank and the objectively measured rank are considered simultaneously, the self-perceived rank dominates the effect on the students' educational achievement, indicating that the objective rank largely functions as a proxy for the rank of which students are aware. Taking advantage of the very detailed survey questions aimed at students, parents, and teachers, a large set of potential mechanisms are examined in the paper.

Keywords: Self-Perceived Ordinal Rank; China; Academic Achievement

JEL Classification: I21; J24

Suggested Citation

Yu, Han, Am I the Big Fish? The Effect of Ordinal Rank on Student Academic Performance in Middle School (March 25, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3276304 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3276304

Han Yu (Contact Author)

University of Memphis

The University of Memphis
Department of Economics
Memphis, TN TN 38152
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.hanyuecon.com

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