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

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  • Martin R. West
  • Ludger Wößmann

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 Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Kiel Working Papers with number 1145.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kie:kieliw:1145

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Keywords: Student sorting; class size; educational achievement;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Piopiunik, Marc & Schwerdt, Guido & Woessmann, Ludger, 2012. "Central School Exit Exams and Labor-Market Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 6889, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. 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, number 39.
  3. Kaoru Nabeshima, 2003. "Raising the quality of secondary education in East Asia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3140, The World Bank.
  4. 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., vol. 32(2), pages 411-438, 03.
  5. Schneider, Kerstin & Schuchart, Claudia & Weishaupt, Horst & Riedel, Andrea, 2012. "The effect of free primary school choice on ethnic groups — Evidence from a policy reform," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 430-444.
  6. 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, October.
  7. Ludger Wößmann, 2003. "Educational Production in East Asia: The Impact of Family Background and Schooling Policies on Student Performance," Kiel Working Papers 1152, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  8. Andreas Ammermüller, 2004. "PISA : what makes the difference?," Working Papers of the Research Group Heterogenous Labor 04-07, Research Group Heterogeneous Labor, University of Konstanz/ZEW Mannheim.
  9. 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).
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Cohen-Zada, Danny & Gradstein, Mark & Reuven, Ehud, 2013. "Allocation of students in public schools: Theory and new evidence," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 96-106.
  13. Jencks, Christopher & Tach, Laura, 2005. "Would Equal Opportunity Mean More Mobility?," Working Paper Series rwp05-037, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  14. Ammermüller, Andreas, 2004. "PISA: What Makes the Difference? Explaining the Gap in PISA Test Scores Between Finland and Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 04-04, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  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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