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de Carvalho Andrade, Eduardo
de Castro, Luciano I.
Year of Publication: 
Series/Report no.: 
Economics Discussion Papers 2011-2
A parallel of education with transformative processes in standard markets suggest that a more severe control of the quality of the output will improve the overall quality of the education. This paper shows a somehow counterintuitive result: an increase in the exam difficulty may reduce the average quality (productivity) of selected individuals. Since the exam does not verify all skills, when its standard rises, candidates with relatively low skills emphasized in the test and high skills demanded in the job may no longer qualify. Hence, an increase in the testing standard may be counterproductive. One implication is that policies should emphasize alignment between the skills tested and those required in the actual jobs, rather than increase exams' difficulties.
school standards
signaling model
cognitive skills
non-cognitive skills
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Document Type: 
Working Paper

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