(1998), "The Impact of Educational Standards on the Level and Distribution of Earnings", American Economic Review,(88:1), pp. 66-76.
The literature on educational standards suggests that an increase in graduation requirements heightens inequality, since achievement rises only for the best students. The paper derives a different conclusion based on a model featuring workers with heterogeneous abilities. Higher educational standards, while increasing inequality, can increase the earnings of both the most able and the least able workers. Thus an egalitarian social planner may set higher standards than an income-maximizing social planner. The egalitarian planner may prefer more strict standards because they come closer to creating a pooling equilibrium. The results mitigate the concern that higher standards are necessarily inegalitarian.