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Which school systems sort weaker students into smaller classes? International evidence

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  • West, Martin R.
  • Wößmann, Ludger

Abstract

We examine whether the sorting of high- and low-achieving students into classes of different sizes results in a regressive or compensatory pattern of class sizes for 18 national school systems. Sorting effects are identified by subtracting the causal effect of class size on performance from their total correlation. Our empirical results reveal strongly compensatory patterns of sorting within and especially between schools in many countries. Only the United States, which has a 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 where administrators rather than teachers assign students to classrooms.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Munich, Department of Economics in its series Munich Reprints in Economics with number 19694.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Publication status: Published in European Journal of Political Economy 4 22(2006): pp. 944-968
Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenar:19694

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References

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  1. Wößmann, Ludger & West, Martin R., 2006. "Class-size effects in school systems around the world: Evidence from between-grade variation in TIMSS," Munich Reprints in Economics 19673, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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).
  2. Wößmann, Ludger, 2005. "Educational production in East Asia: The impact of family background and schooling policies on student performance," Munich Reprints in Economics 19657, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  3. Kaoru Nabeshima, 2003. "Raising the quality of secondary education in East Asia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3140, The World Bank.
  4. Andreas Ammermueller, 2007. "PISA: What makes the difference?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 33(2), pages 263-287, September.
  5. Thomas Dee & Martin West, 2008. "The Non-Cognitive Returns to Class Size," NBER Working Papers 13994, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Jencks, Christopher & Tach, Laura, 2005. "Would Equal Opportunity Mean More Mobility?," Working Paper Series rwp05-037, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  9. 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, July.
  10. Marc Piopiunik & Guido Schwerdt & Ludger Woessmann, 2012. "Central School Exit Exams and Labor-Market Outcomes," CESifo Working Paper Series 3940, CESifo Group Munich.
  11. 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.
  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. 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.
  14. Ludger Woessmann, 2004. "European "Education Production Functions": What Makes A Difference For Student Achievement In Europe?," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2004 93, Royal Economic Society.
  15. 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.

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