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Class size in the early years: is smaller really better?

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  • Iacovou, Maria

Abstract

Other things being equal, theory would suggest that students in smaller classes at school should do better in terms of attainment; convincing experimental evidence for this also exists in the US. However, a relationship between small classes and better outcomes has not generally been evident in individual-level studies, possibly because of endogeneity arising from low-attaining or otherwise 'difficult' students being put into smaller classes than their higher-achieving counterparts. The present paper uses data from the National Child Development Study to estimate the effects of class size. Ordinary least-squares estimates indicate that small classes are not related to attainment; however, instrumental variables estimates, with class size instrumented by the interaction between school size and school type, show a significant and sizeable association between smaller classes and higher attainment in reading in the early years of school. This effect is common to different groups of students, and for some groups (girls, and those from larger families), this association is also found to persist through to age 11.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for Social and Economic Research in its series ISER Working Paper Series with number 2001-10.

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Date of creation: 01 May 2001
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Publication status: published
Handle: RePEc:ese:iserwp:2001-10

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Postal: Publications Office, Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex CO4 3SQ UK
Phone: 44-1206-872957
Fax: 44-1206-873151
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Web page: https://www.iser.essex.ac.uk/
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Postal: Publications Office, Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex CO4 3SQ UK
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Web: https://www.iser.essex.ac.uk/publications/

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References

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  12. Joshua D. Angrist & Victor Lavy, 1999. "Using Maimonides' Rule To Estimate The Effect Of Class Size On Scholastic Achievement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 533-575, May.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. McCoy, Selina & Smyth, Emer, 2003. "Educational Expenditure: Implications for Equality," Papers BP2004/4, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  3. Arnaud Chevalier & Peter Dolton & Ros Levacic, 2004. "School Quality and Effectiveness," Working Papers 200410, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
  4. Stephen Gibbons & Sandra McNally, 2013. "The Effects of Resources Across School Phases: A Summary of Recent Evidence," CEP Discussion Papers dp1226, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  5. Ligia Melo Becerra, 2005. "Impacto De La Descentralización Fiscal Sobre La Educación Pública Colombiana," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 002802, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
  6. Smyth, Emer & McCoy, Selina, 2009. "Investing in Education: Combating Educational Disadvantage," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number RS006.
  7. Ma, Lingjie & Koenker, Roger, 2006. "Quantile regression methods for recursive structural equation models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 134(2), pages 471-506, October.
  8. Fiona Steele & Anna Vignoles & Andrew Jenkins, 2007. "The effect of school resources on pupil attainment: a multilevel simultaneous equation modelling approach," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 26481, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  9. Lane, Philip & McCoy, Selina & Smith, Stephen & Smyth, Emer & Van Soest, Arthur & Walsh, John R., 2003. "Budget Perspectives 2004," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number BMI172 edited by Callan, Tim & Doris, Aedin & McCoy, Daniel.

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