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The Effects of Class Size on the Long Run Growth in Reading Abilities and Early Adult Outcomes in the Christchurch Health and Development Study

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  • Michael A. Boozer

    ()
    (Economic Growth Center, Yale University)

  • Tom Maloney
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    Abstract

    This paper utilizes the feature of the CHDS data from New Zealand that children are sampled for extremely long individual histories of their class size experiences as well as their scholastic and early labor market outcomes. Our interest is to explore the full set of empirical implications of the recent experimental evidence on class size effects on student achievement from the United States in Project STAR for observational data. We argue that one implication of Project STAR is that only persistent class size reduction policies may have detectable effects, and so the longitudinal aspect of CHDS is necessary to detect class size effects. We account for the observational nature of the CHDS (in that children were not randomly assigned to different class sizes) by examining the long-run trends in test score growth, rather than levels. Consistent with the experimental evidence, we find statistically and economically significant effects of children being assigned to persistently smaller classes on both childhood test score growth as well as on early adult outcomes. Our analysis points the way towards the unification of experimental and observational evidence on class size effects, as well as highlighting several possible pitfalls in the analysis of observational data on this topic.

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    File URL: http://www.econ.yale.edu/growth_pdf/cdp827.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Economic Growth Center, Yale University in its series Working Papers with number 827.

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    Length: 68 pages
    Date of creation: May 2001
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:egc:wpaper:827

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    Related research

    Keywords: School Quality; Value-Added Model; Experimental Evidence;

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    1. Boozer, Michael & Rouse, Cecilia, 2001. "Intraschool Variation in Class Size: Patterns and Implications," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 163-189, July.
    2. Eric A. Hanushek, . "The Evidence on Class Size," Wallis Working Papers WP10, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy.
    3. Zvi Griliches & Jerry A. Hausman, 1984. "Errors in Variables in Panel Data," NBER Technical Working Papers 0037, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Alan B. Krueger, 1999. "Experimental Estimates Of Education Production Functions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 497-532, May.
    5. Berrara, A., 1989. "The Interactive Effects Of Mother'S Schooling And Unsupplemented Breastfeeding On Child Health," Papers 572, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
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