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Class Size and Class Heterogeneity

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Author Info

  • De Giorgi, Giacomo

    ()
    (Stanford University)

  • Pellizzari, Michele

    ()
    (University of Geneva)

  • Woolston, William Gui

    ()
    (Stanford University)

Abstract

We study how class size and composition affect the academic and labor market performances of college students, two crucial policy questions given the secular increase in college enrollment. We rely on the random assignment of students to teaching classes. Our results suggest that a one standard deviation increase in the class-size would result in a 0.1 standard deviation deterioration of the average grade. Further, the effect is heterogenous as female and higher income students seem almost immune to the size of the class. Also, the effects on performance of class composition in terms of gender and ability appears to be inverse U-shaped. Finally, a reduction of 20 students (one standard deviation) in one's class size has a positive effect on monthly wages of about 80 Euros (115 USD) or 6% over the average.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4443.

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Length: 53 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of the European Economic Association, 2012, 10 (4), 795 - 830
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4443

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Keywords: class size; heterogeneity; experimental evidence; academic performance; wages;

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References

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  1. Figlio, David N. & Page, Marianne E., 2002. "School Choice and the Distributional Effects of Ability Tracking: Does Separation Increase Inequality?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 497-514, May.
  2. Renate Schubert, 1999. "Financial Decision-Making: Are Women Really More Risk-Averse?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 381-385, May.
  3. Bandiera, Oriana & Larcinese, Valentino & Rasul, Imran, 2009. "Heterogeneous Class Size Effects: New Evidence from a Panel of University Students," IZA Discussion Papers 4496, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. 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.
  5. Dobbelsteen, Simone & Levin, Jesse & Oosterbeek, Hessel, 2002. " The Causal Effect of Class Size on Scholastic Achievement: Distinguishing the Pure Class Size Effect from the Effect of Changes in Class Composition," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 64(1), pages 17-38, February.
  6. Lorraine Dearden & Javier Ferri & Costas Meghir, 1998. "The effect of school quality on educational attainment and wages," IFS Working Papers W98/03, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  7. Scott E. Carrell & Richard L. Fullerton & James E. West, 2009. "Does Your Cohort Matter? Measuring Peer Effects in College Achievement," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(3), pages 439-464, 07.
  8. Paul Oyer, 2006. "Initial Labor Market Conditions and Long-Term Outcomes for Economists," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(3), pages 143-160, Summer.
  9. Duflo, Esther & Dupas, Pascaline & Kremer, Michael, 2008. "Peer Effects and the Impact of Tracking: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Kenya," CEPR Discussion Papers 7043, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Jonathan Guryan & Kory Kroft & Matthew J. Notowidigdo, 2009. "Peer Effects in the Workplace: Evidence from Random Groupings in Professional Golf Tournaments," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(4), pages 34-68, October.
  11. Caroline M. Hoxby, 1998. "The Effects of Class Size and Composition on Student Achievement: New Evidence from Natural Population Variation," NBER Working Papers 6869, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Sloan, Frank A & Reilly, Bridget A & Schenzler, Christoph, 1995. "Effects of Tort Liability and Insurance on Heavy Drinking and Drinking and Driving," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(1), pages 49-77, April.
  13. De Giorgi, Giacomo & Pellizzari, Michele & Redaelli, Silvia, 2007. "Be as Careful of the Books You Read as of the Company You Keep: Evidence on Peer Effects in Educational Choices," IZA Discussion Papers 2833, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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Cited by:
  1. List, John A. & Rasul, Imran, 2011. "Field Experiments in Labor Economics," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
  2. Harding, Matthew & Lamarche, Carlos, 2014. "Estimating and testing a quantile regression model with interactive effects," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 178(P1), pages 101-113.
  3. Giacomo De Giorgi & Michele Pellizzari, 2011. "Understanding Social Interactions: Evidence from the Classroom," Working Papers 385, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  4. Ostermaier, Andreas & Beltz, Philipp & Link, Susanne, 2013. "Do university policies matter? Effects of Course Policies on Performance," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79924, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  5. Braga, Michela & Paccagnella, Marco & Pellizzari, Michele, 2011. "Evaluating Students' Evaluations of Professors," IZA Discussion Papers 5620, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Feld, Jan & Zölitz, Ulf, 2014. "Understanding Peer Effects: On the Nature, Estimation and Channels of Peer Effects," Working Papers in Economics 596, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics, revised Aug 2014.
  7. Stephen L. Ross, 2009. "Social Interactions within Cities: Neighborhood Environments and Peer Relationships," Working papers 2009-31, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  8. Fu, Shihe & Viard, Brian, 2014. "Commute Costs and Labor Supply: Evidence from a Satellite Campus," MPRA Paper 53740, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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