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Which School Systems Sort Weaker Students into Smaller Classes? International Evidence

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  • Martin R. West
  • Ludger Woessmann

Abstract

We examine whether the sorting of differently achieving students into differently sized classes results in a regressive or compensatory pattern of class sizes for a sample of national school systems. Sorting effects are identified by subtracting the causal effect of class size on performance from their total correlation. Our empirical results indicate substantial compensatory sorting within and especially between schools in many countries. Only the United States, a country with 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 when administrators rather than teachers assign students to classrooms.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2003/wp-cesifo-2003-10/cesifo1_wp1054.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1054.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1054

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Keywords: student sorting; class size; educational achievement; education;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Woessmann, Ludger, 2003. "Educational Production in East Asia: The Impact of Family Background and Schooling Policies on Student Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 745, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Andreas Ammermüller, 2004. "PISA : what makes the difference?," Working Papers of the Research Group Heterogenous Labor 04-07, Research Group Heterogeneous Labor, University of Konstanz/ZEW Mannheim.
  3. Kaoru Nabeshima, 2003. "Raising the quality of secondary education in East Asia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3140, The World Bank.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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).
  9. Thomas Dee & Martin West, 2008. "The Non-Cognitive Returns to Class Size," NBER Working Papers 13994, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Jencks, Christopher & Tach, Laura, 2005. "Would Equal Opportunity Mean More Mobility?," Working Paper Series rwp05-037, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Ludger Woessmann, 2004. "European "Education Production Functions": What Makes A Difference For Student Achievement In Europe?," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2004 93, Royal Economic Society.
  14. 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.
  15. Kerstin Schneider & Claudia Schuchart & Horst Weishaupt & Andrea Riedel, 2011. "The effect of free primary school choice on ethnic groups – Evidence from a policy reform," Schumpeter Discussion Papers sdp11007, Universitätsbibliothek Wuppertal, University Library.

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