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Degree performance of economics students in UK universities : absolute and relative performance in prior qualifications

By Robin Naylor and Jeremy Smith


We exploit individual-level data on full cohorts of UK university, leavers who were enrolled for an Economics degree during the period 1984-85 to 1992-93 or the academic year 1997 98. We analyse the determinants of degree performance and find that performance depends not only on prior qualifications as measured by A-level scores,. for example, but also on the individual student's ranking (based on their A-level scores) within their cohort at their university. The students' performance is also enhanced by having previously studied mathematics, although there is no benefit from the prior study of Economics. We find that attendance at an Independent school has a negative effect on degree performance, and that there are comparatively few social class background effects. Females are more likely than males to obtain a good degree

Topics: HC, JA
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
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