May 2019

IZA DP No. 12338: Math Scores in High Stakes Grades

Giorgio Brunello, David Kiss

We investigate whether tests taken during a high stakes grade by German primary and secondary students produce higher math scores than in lower stakes grades. We identify a high stakes grade with the final grade of primary or secondary school, because good performance in that grade can affect future opportunities. Our difference-in-differences estimates show that high stakes increase math scores on average by 0.17 to 0.23 standard deviations, a sizeable effect.