The Impact of High-Stakes School-Admission Exams on Study Effort and Achievements: Quasi-experimental Evidence from Slovakia
Chapter 27 in Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación, 2014, vol. 9, pp 515-532 from Asociación de Economía de la Educación
High-stakes admission exams to selective schools create incentives for more intensive study effort possibly increasing study achievements of students. Exploiting exogenous change of a schooling system and using two waves of TIMSS survey data we find that high-stakes exams increase math test scores of 10 years old students by 0.2 standard deviations. This effect additionally accrues by around 0.1 standard deviations for students in the top decile, i.e. students who apply for selective schools with the highest probability. The most perceptive to incentives are test items referring to cognitive domain of reasoning requiring deeper understanding of math problems. Although the effects are similar for both genders, there are indications that girls exert higher study efforts in more competitive environment. This is in line with the widely accepted finding of developmental psychology that ten years old girls are more mature and more responsive to authorities than boys.
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Working Paper: The Impact of High-Stakes School-Admission Exams on Study Effort and Achievements: Quasi-experimental Evidence from Slovakia (2014)
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