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

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  • West, Martin R.

    ()
    (Harvard Graduate School of Education)

  • Woessmann, Ludger

    ()
    (Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

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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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 744.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2003
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: European Journal of Political Economy, 2006, 22 (4), 944-968
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp744

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Keywords: class size; educational achievement; student sorting;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Jencks, Christopher & Tach, Laura, 2005. "Would Equal Opportunity Mean More Mobility?," Working Paper Series, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government rwp05-037, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  2. Andreas Ammermüller, 2004. "PISA : what makes the difference?," Working Papers of the Research Group Heterogenous Labor, Research Group Heterogeneous Labor, University of Konstanz/ZEW Mannheim 04-07, Research Group Heterogeneous Labor, University of Konstanz/ZEW Mannheim.
  3. Marc Piopiunik & Guido Schwerdt & Ludger Woessmann, 2012. "Central School Exit Exams and Labor-Market Outcomes," CESifo Working Paper Series 3940, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Ammermüller, Andreas, 2004. "PISA: What Makes the Difference? Explaining the Gap in PISA Test Scores Between Finland and Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research 04-04, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  5. 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., John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 32(2), pages 411-438, 03.
  6. 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, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 39, 8.
  7. Ludger W��mann, 2003. "European education production functions: what makes a difference for student achievement in Europe?," European Economy - Economic Papers, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission 190, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  8. Kaoru Nabeshima, 2003. "Raising the quality of secondary education in East Asia," Policy Research Working Paper Series, The World Bank 3140, The World Bank.
  9. 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).
  10. Cohen-Zada, Danny & Gradstein, Mark & Reuven, Ehud, 2013. "Allocation of students in public schools: Theory and new evidence," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 96-106.
  11. 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, August.
  12. 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).
  13. 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, Universitätsbibliothek Wuppertal, University Library sdp11007, Universitätsbibliothek Wuppertal, University Library.
  14. 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.
  15. Thomas Dee & Martin West, 2008. "The Non-Cognitive Returns to Class Size," NBER Working Papers 13994, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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