Using high-stakes grades to incentivize learning
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionEconomics of Education Review. 2023, 94 . 10.1016/j.econedurev.2023.102377
I use a natural experiment in Norwegian high school to investigate how high-stakes grades affect students’ investment in schooling. By exploiting variation across space and time I compare the performance of students taking the same exit exam in compulsory school, but where the test is high-stakes for only a subset of students. Using a staggered triple-difference framework, I find that exam grades increase in the high-stakes setting if students have a sufficient number of prospective high schools within traveling distance. Results from low-stakes ability assessments suggest actual learning — and not test-taking strategy — could largely explain the effect.