NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Retaking in High Stakes Exams: Is Less More?

Kala Krishna, Sergey Lychagin, Verónica Frisancho Robles

NBER Working Paper No. 21640
Issued in October 2015
NBER Program(s):Economics of Education, Industrial Organization

Placement, both in university and in the civil service, according to performance in competitive exams is the norm in much of the world. Repeat taking of such exams is common despite the private and social costs it imposes. We develop and estimate a structural model of exam retaking using data from Turkey's university placement exam. We find that limiting retaking, though individually harmful given the equilibrium, actually increases expected welfare across the board. This result comes from a general equilibrium effect: retakers crowd the market and impose negative spillovers on others by raising acceptance cutoffs.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w21640

Published: Kala Krishna & Sergey Lychagin & Veronica Frisancho, 2018. "RETAKING IN HIGH STAKES EXAMS: IS LESS MORE?," International Economic Review, vol 59(2), pages 449-477. citation courtesy of

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