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Which school systems sort weaker students into smaller classes? International evidence

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  • West, Martin R.
  • Woessmann, Ludger

Abstract

We examine whether the sorting of high- and low-achieving students into classes of different sizes results in a regressive or compensatory pattern of class sizes for 18 national school systems. Sorting effects are identified by subtracting the causal effect of class size on performance from their total correlation. Our empirical results reveal strongly compensatory patterns of sorting within and especially between schools in many countries. Only the United States, which has a decentralized education finance and considerable residential mobility, exhibits regressive between-school sorting. Between-school sorting is more compensatory in systems with ability tracking. Within-school sorting is more compensatory where administrators rather than teachers assign students to classrooms.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 22 (2006)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 944-968

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Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:22:y:2006:i:4:p:944-968

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505544

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Piopiunik, Marc & Schwerdt, Guido & Wößmann, Ludger, 2013. "Central school exit exams and labor-market outcomes," Munich Reprints in Economics 19325, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. Thomas Dee & Martin West, 2008. "The Non-Cognitive Returns to Class Size," NBER Working Papers 13994, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Cohen-Zada, Danny & Gradstein, Mark & Reuven, Ehud, 2009. "Class Size and the Regression Discontinuity Design: The Case of Public Schools," IZA Discussion Papers 4679, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Emiliana Vegas & Jenny Petrow, 2008. "Raising Student Learning in Latin America : The Challenge for the Twenty-First Century," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6802, October.
  5. Jencks, Christopher & Tach, Laura, 2005. "Would Equal Opportunity Mean More Mobility?," Working Paper Series rwp05-037, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  6. Schneider, Kerstin & Schuchart, Claudia & Weishaupt, Horst & Riedel, Andrea, 2012. "The effect of free primary school choice on ethnic groups — Evidence from a policy reform," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 430-444.
  7. Andreas Ammermueller, 2007. "PISA: What makes the difference?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 33(2), pages 263-287, September.
  8. Ludger W��mann, 2003. "European education production functions: what makes a difference for student achievement in Europe?," European Economy - Economic Papers 190, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  9. Elke Lüdemann, 2011. "Schooling and the Formation of Cognitive and Non-cognitive Outcomes," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 39.
  10. Ludger Wößmann, 2005. "Kleinere Klassen = bessere Leistungen?," Ifo Schnelldienst, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 58(17), pages 06-15, 09.
  11. Matthew M. Chingos & Kenneth A. Couch, 2013. "Class Size and Student Outcomes: Research and Policy Implications," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 32(2), pages 411-438, 03.
  12. Ammermüller, Andreas, 2004. "PISA: What Makes the Difference? Explaining the Gap in PISA Test Scores Between Finland and Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 04-04, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  13. Cohen-Zada, Danny & Gradstein, Mark & Reuven, Ehud, 2013. "Allocation of students in public schools: Theory and new evidence," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 96-106.
  14. Kaoru Nabeshima, 2003. "Raising the quality of secondary education in East Asia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3140, The World Bank.

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