Contests & Conflict | 11/17/2021 | 04:00 PM
Competing for Grades

Speaker: Philipp Strack

Date & Time: Singapore (11 pm), Los Angeles (7 am), Cincinnati (10 am), Bath (3 pm), Munich (4 pm), Beijing (11 pm), Sydney (November 18, 2 am)

Philipp Strack will present his paper titled "Competing for Grades" (joint work with Dawei Fang, and Thomas Noe).

Abstract of the Paper:
Many universities and colleges grade on a curve. Grading on a curve creates a contest among students. However, unlike many contests where the value of each prize is explicitly specified, the student contest only specifies the grading curve but not the value of each grade. In this paper, we take the stand that the grade a student receives conveys information related to the student’s post education productivity to the labor market, such as student ability or human capital accumulated during education, which is not directly observable to the labor market. The labor market then “prices” (i.e., sets the wage for) each grade accordingly. Our goal is three-fold: we (i) show how grading curves simultaneously determine post education wages (i.e., grade values) and students’ educational achievements (i.e., efforts made in the contest), (ii) investigate how changes of a grading curve (e.g., grade inflation, grade coarsening, and grade fining) affect wages, and (iii) derive wage-maximizing grading curves.

Chair: Qiang Fu, Co-Chair: Tracy Liu and Lionel Page

Contact Person

Event Team

Max-Planck-Institut für Steuerrecht und Öffentliche Finanzen

Marstallplatz 1
80539 München

Phone: +49-89-24246-5255
Fax: +49-89-24246-5299