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Class Size, Education and Wages

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  • Dustmann, Christian
  • Rajah, Najma
  • van Soest, Arthur

Abstract

This Paper examines the effects of class size on the decision to stay on in full time schooling at the age of 16 and on wages at later stages in life. Little research exists on the effect of school quality on career decisions, although it has potentially important long-term implications. We use micro data for England and Wales that contain an unusually rich set of variables on parental background and previous achievements. We find that class size, measured as the pupil-teacher ratio at the school level, has a sizeable and significant effect on the decision to remain in full time education beyond the minimum age. This finding is very robust and persists when school type variables, exam results, and results from past ability tests are controlled for. We also estimate wage equations including the staying on decision at age 16 as one of the explanatory variables. The effect of staying on is significantly positive for wages at age 33 and age 42,and for females also at age 23.Combining this effect with the effect of class size on the staying on decision, our results reveal that class size significantly affects future wages. Reduced form models in which wages are directly regressed on class size lead to much less accurate and generally insignificant estimates.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3397.

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Date of creation: May 2002
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3397

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Keywords: educational attainment; school inputs; training;

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  1. Lorraine Dearden & Javier Ferri & Costas Meghir, 2002. "The Effect Of School Quality On Educational Attainment And Wages," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 1-20, February.
  2. Wayne Strayer, 2002. "The Returns to School Quality: College Choice and Earnings," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(3), pages 475-503, July.
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  8. David Card & Alan B. Krueger, 1996. "School Resources and Student Outcomes: An Overview of the Literature and New Evidence from North and South Carolina," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 31-50, Fall.
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  10. Heckman, James & Layne-Farrar, Anne & Todd, Petra, 1996. "Human Capital Pricing Equations with an Application to Estimating the Effect of Schooling Quality on Earnings," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(4), pages 562-610, November.
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  12. Caroline M. Hoxby, 2000. "The Effects Of Class Size On Student Achievement: New Evidence From Population Variation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1239-1285, November.
  13. Eric A. Hanushek, 2003. "The Failure of Input-Based Schooling Policies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages F64-F98, February.
  14. Ermisch, John F & Francesconi, Marco, 1997. "Family Matters," CEPR Discussion Papers 1591, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Hanushek, E-A & Rivkin, S-G & Taylor, L-L, 1995. "Aggregation and the Estimated Effects of School Resources," RCER Working Papers 397, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  16. Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1992. "Does School Quality Matter? Returns to Education and the Characteristics of Public Schools in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 1-40, February.
  17. Donald Robertson & James Symons, 1996. "Do peer Groups Matter? Peer Groups versus Schooling Effects on Academic Attainment," CEP Discussion Papers dp0311, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  18. David Card & Alan B. Krueger, 1996. "Labor Market Effects of School Quality: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 5450, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  20. Alan B. Krueger, 2000. "Economic Considerations and class size," Working Papers 975, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing..
  21. Hanushek, Eric A, 1992. "The Trade-Off between Child Quantity and Quality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 84-117, February.
  22. David Card & Thomas Lemieux, 2000. "Can Falling Supply Explain the Rising Return to College for Younger Men? A Cohort-Based Analysis," NBER Working Papers 7655, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. repec:fth:prinin:366 is not listed on IDEAS
  24. repec:fth:prinin:357 is not listed on IDEAS
  25. Eric A. Hanushek, 1996. "Measuring Investment in Education," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 9-30, Fall.
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