Economics Research Institute Study Paper
Utah State University Department of Economics
This paper estimates the deadweight loss associated with not failing an optimal number of students. We find that this loss ranges between $3,200 and $4,600 per student over the student's four-year undergraduate career. One possible ramification of adopting a more stringent student-failure policy (to recoup the deadweight loss) is investigated. We find that an institution can promote greater effort on the part of both students and faculty by encouraging faculty to fail more students.
Caplan, Arthur J., "Failing Students Optimally" (2004). Economic Research Institute Study Papers. Paper 291.