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Class Size and Student Achievement: Experimental Estimates of Who Benefits and Who Loses from Reductions

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Author Info

  • Weili Ding

    ()
    (Queen's University)

  • Steven Lehrer

    ()
    (Queen's University)

Abstract

Class size proponents draw heavily on the results from Project STAR to support their initiatives. Adding to the political appeal of these initiative are reports that minority and economic disadvantaged students receive the largest benefits. To explore and truly understand the heterogeneous impacts of class size and student achievement requires more flexible estimation approaches. We consider several semi and nonparametric strategies and find strong evidence that i) higher ability students gain the most from class size reductions while many low ability students do not benefit from these reductions, ii) there are no significant benefits in reducing class size from 22 to 15 students in any subject area, iii) no additional benefits from class size reductions for minority or disadvantaged students, iv) significant heterogeneity in the effectiveness of class size reductions across schools and in parental and school behavioural responses.

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File URL: http://qed.econ.queensu.ca/working_papers/papers/qed_wp_1046.pdf
File Function: First version 2005
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Queen's University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1046.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:qed:wpaper:1046

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Related research

Keywords: Class size; Academic performance; Project STAR; Economic disadvantaged students; Minority students;

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References

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  1. Alan Krueger, 2000. "Economic Considerations and Class Size," Working Papers 826, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  2. Steven Lehrer & Weili Ding, 2004. "Estimating Dynamic Treatment Effects from Project STAR," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 252, Econometric Society.
  3. V. Joseph Hotz & Guido W. Imbens & Julie H. Mortimer, 1999. "Predicting the Efficacy of Future Training Programs Using Past Experiences," NBER Technical Working Papers 0238, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Hanushek, Eric A, 1995. "Interpreting Recent Research on Schooling in Developing Countries," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 10(2), pages 227-46, August.
  5. Eric A. Hanushek, . "The Evidence on Class Size," Wallis Working Papers WP10, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy.
  6. Hanushek, Eric A, 1986. "The Economics of Schooling: Production and Efficiency in Public Schools," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 24(3), pages 1141-77, September.
  7. Edward P. Lazear, 1999. "Educational Production," NBER Working Papers 7349, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Alan B. Krueger, 1999. "Experimental Estimates Of Education Production Functions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 497-532, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Rodrigues, Clarissa Guimarães & Rios-Neto, Eduardo Luiz Gonçalves & de Xavier Pinto, Cristine Campos, 2013. "Changes in test scores distribution for students of the fourth grade in Brazil: A relative distribution analysis for the years 1997–2005," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 227-242.
  2. Costas Meghir & Steven Rivkin, 2010. "Econometric methods for research in education," IFS Working Papers W10/10, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  3. Anton Bekkerman & Gregory Gilpin, 2011. "Cost-Effective Hiring in U.S. High Schools: Estimating Optimal Teacher Quantity and Quality Decisions," Caepr Working Papers 2011-007, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington.
  4. Ding, Weili & Lehrer, Steven F., 2011. "Experimental Estimates of the Impacts of Class Size on Test Scores: Robustness and Heterogeneity," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2011-12, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 26 Jun 2011.
  5. Rodrigues, Clarissa G. & Rios-Neto, Eduardo L G & Pinto, Cristine Campos de Xavier, 2012. "Changes in test scores distribution for students of the fourth grade in Brazil: A relative distribution analysis for the years 1997 to 2005," Textos para discussão 282, Escola de Economia de São Paulo, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
  6. Fan, Yanqin & Park, Sang Soo, 2010. "Confidence sets for some partially identified parameters," MPRA Paper 37149, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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