Student Selection and Incentives

24 Pages Posted: 27 Feb 2006

See all articles by Gerald Eisenkopf

Gerald Eisenkopf

University of Konstanz - Faculty of Economics and Statistics

Date Written: February 21, 2007


The paper discusses the impact of ability grouping in secondary education on student incentives. Education provides a signal on unobservable ability for employers and improves productivity after education. Selection sets better incentives in primary education and allows for improved peer group effects in secondary education. In comprehensive schools qualification has a greater impact on the employers' beliefs. Hence, students have a higher incentive to invest in qualification. The paper provides an explanation why selective systems do not outperform comprehensive systems in comparative studies, even if standard peer effect assumptions hold. It also undermines the assumption that better scores with given financial inputs mean a higher a efficiency level. Finally it shows why the measurement of value added in secondary education underestimates the impact of selection on performance.

Keywords: Education, signalling, selection, ability grouping, incentives

JEL Classification: I20, I28

Suggested Citation

Eisenkopf, Gerald, Student Selection and Incentives (February 21, 2007). Available at SSRN: or

Gerald Eisenkopf (Contact Author)

University of Konstanz - Faculty of Economics and Statistics ( email )

Universitaetsstr. 10
78457 Konstanz

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics