Motivation, test scores and economic success

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Segal, Carmit. Motivation, test scores and economic success. 2006
http://hdl.handle.net/10230/897
To cite or link this document: http://hdl.handle.net/10230/897
dc.contributor.author Segal, Carmit
dc.contributor.other Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Departament d'Economia i Empresa
dc.date.issued 2006-11-01
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10230/897
dc.description.abstract This paper argues that low-stakes test scores, available in surveys, may be partially determined by test-taking motivation, which is associated with personality traits but not with cognitive ability. Therefore, such test score distributions may not be informative regarding cognitive ability distributions. Moreover, correlations, found in survey data, between high test scores and economic success may be partially caused by favorable personality traits. To demonstrate these points, I use the coding speed test that was administered without incentives to National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (NLSY) participants. I suggest that due to its simplicity its scores may especially depend on individuals' test-taking motivation. I show that controlling for conventional measures of cognitive skills, the coding speed scores are correlated with future earnings of male NLSY participants. Moreover, the coding speed scores of highly motivated, though less educated, population (potential enlists to the armed forces) are higher than NLSY participants' scores. I then use controlled experiments to show that when no performance-based incentives are provided, participants' characteristics, but not their cognitive skills, affect effort invested in the coding speed test. Thus, participants with the same ability (measured by their scores on an incentivized test) have significantly different scores on tests without performance- based incentives.
dc.language.iso eng
dc.relation.ispartofseries Economics and Business Working Papers Series; 1124
dc.rights L'accés als continguts d'aquest document queda condicionat a l'acceptació de les condicions d'ús establertes per la següent llicència Creative Commons
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/es/
dc.title Motivation, test scores and economic success
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/workingPaper
dc.date.modified 2014-06-03T07:14:23Z
dc.subject.keyword Behavioral and Experimental Economics
dc.subject.keyword Labour, Public, Development and Health Economics
dc.subject.keyword test scores
dc.subject.keyword motivation
dc.subject.keyword cognitive skills
dc.subject.keyword non-cognitive skills
dc.subject.keyword earnings
dc.rights.accessRights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess


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