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Economic Considerations and Class Size

  • Alan B. Krueger

    (Princeton University and NBER)

This paper examines evidence on the effect of class size on student achievement. First, it is shown that results of quantitative summaries of the literature, such as Hanushek (1997), depend critically on whether studies are accorded equal weight. When studies are given equal weight, resources are systematically related to student achievement. When weights are in proportion to their number of estimates, resources and achievements are not systematically related. Second, a cost-benefit analysis of class size reduction is performed. Results of the Tennessee STAR class-size experiment suggest that the internal rate of return from reducing class size from 22 to 15 students is around 6%. Copyright Royal Economic Society 2003

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Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 113 (2003)
Issue (Month): 485 (February)
Pages: F34-F63

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:113:y:2003:i:485:p:f34-f63
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  1. Alan B. Krueger, 1999. "Experimental Estimates Of Education Production Functions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 497-532, May.
  2. James Heckman & Anne Layne-Farrar & Petra Todd, 1995. "The Schooling Quality-Earnings Relationship: Using Economic Theory to Interpret Functional Forms Consistent with the Evidence," NBER Working Papers 5288, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Eric A. Hanushek, 1982. "Throwing money at schools," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 1(1), pages 19-41.
  4. 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.
  5. Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1992. "Does School Quality Matter? Returns to Education and the Characteristics of Public Schools in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 1-40, February.
  6. Joshua D. Angrist & Victor Lavy, 1997. "Using Maimonides' Rule to Estimate the Effect of Class Size on Student Achievement," NBER Working Papers 5888, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Alan Krueger & Diane Whitmore, 2000. "The Effect of Attending a Small Class in the Early Grades on College-Test Taking and Middle School Test Results: Evidence from Project STAR," NBER Working Papers 7656, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Eric A. Hanushek, 2003. "The Failure of Input-Based Schooling Policies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages F64-F98, February.
  9. Hanushek, E.A.omson, W., 1996. "Assessing the Effects of School Resources on Student Performance : An Update," RCER Working Papers 424, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  10. Janet Currie & Duncan Thomas, 1999. "Early Test Scores, Socioeconomic Status and Future Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 6943, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. John Cawley & Karen Conneely & James Heckman & Edward Vytlacil, 1996. "Cognitive Ability, Wages, and Meritocracy," NBER Working Papers 5645, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Murnane, Richard J & Willett, John B & Levy, Frank, 1995. "The Growing Importance of Cognitive Skills in Wage Determination," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(2), pages 251-66, May.
  13. Hanushek, Eric A, 1989. "Expenditures, Efficiency, and Equity in Education: The Federal Government's Role," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 46-51, May.
  14. Montmarquette, Claude & Mahseredjian, Sophie, 1989. "Does School Matter for Educational Achievement? A Two-Way Nested-Error Components Analysis," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 4(2), pages 181-93, April-Jun.
  15. Link, Charles R. & Mulligan, James G., 1991. "Classmates' effects on black student achievement in public school classrooms," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 297-310, December.
  16. Kiesling, Herbert J., 1984. "Assignment practices and the relationship of instructional time to the reading performance of elementary school children," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 341-350, August.
  17. Eric A. Hanushek, . "The Evidence on Class Size," Wallis Working Papers WP10, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy.
  18. 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.
  19. Derek A. Neal & William R. Johnson, 1995. "The Role of Pre-Market Factors in Black-White Wage Differences," NBER Working Papers 5124, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Hanushek, Eric A., 2006. "School Resources," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
  21. Link, Charles R. & Mulligan, James G., 1986. "The merits of a longer school day," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 373-381, August.
  22. Edward P. Lazear, 1999. "Educational Production," NBER Working Papers 7349, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Summers, Anita A & Wolfe, Barbara L, 1977. "Do Schools Make a Difference?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(4), pages 639-52, September.
  24. T. D. Stanley, 2001. "Wheat from Chaff: Meta-analysis as Quantitative Literature Review," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(3), pages 131-150, Summer.
  25. Stern, David, 1989. "Educational cost factors and student achievement in grades 3 and 6: Some new evidence," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 149-158, April.
  26. Sengupta, Jati K. & Sfeir, Raymond E., 1986. "Production frontier estimates of scale in public schools in California," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 297-307, June.
  27. Card, David, 1999. "The causal effect of education on earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1801-1863 Elsevier.
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