Paige Phelps

Paige Phelps
Mentor: Dr. Jim Dewey
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
"I got involved with research because I wanted to take the theory and lessons I've learned in class and apply them to solve real-world issues. I wanted to gain new skills, learn new research methods, and experience complex problem solving. Participating in research will help me grow and develop into a strong professional in my future career."




Actuarial Science

Research Interests

  • Development Economics
  • Urban Economics
  • Labor Economics

Academic Awards

  • Randall J. Bodner and Gary W. Faircloth Scholarship
  • Innovation Award Scholarship - Inter-Residence Hall Association
  • UF Student of the Month Award
  • Business Undergraduate Mentorship Program's Most Outstanding Mentee Award


  • Mayors' Council
  • Inter-Residence Hall Association
  • Enactus


  • Dance Marathon
  • Habitat for Humanity

Hobbies and Interests

  • Gardening
  • Movies
  • Sports
  • Theme Parks

Research Description

Grade Inflation, Faculty Evaluations, and Student Effort: Linkage and Implications
Considerable research has documented grade inflation in higher education and proposed that growing dependence on student evaluations of faculty is a likely cause. Other research has documented a large decline in student study time and proposed it may be due to grade inflation—why would grade motivated students bear the time cost of studying when a good grade is almost assured regardless? The first goal of this research is to establish that higher expected grades are simultaneously linked to higher instructor evaluations by students and decreased student effort. The second goal is to explore the implications of this linkage. Evidence suggests the economic return to a year of college is high. As student effort is arguably the most important component in learning, the economic loss from decreased studying is likely large. This suggests dependence on student evaluations of teaching may have significant negative long run economic consequences. This research will contribute to the evidence needed to shape improved education policies.