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Do reductions in class size "crowd out" parental investment in education?

  • Datar, Ashlesha
  • Mason, Bryce

We use panel data from the kindergarten and 1st grade waves of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study--Kindergarten Class to investigate whether increases in schooling inputs in the form of smaller classes "crowd out" parental inputs. We estimate child fixed-effect and fixed-effect-instrumental-variable models to identify the causal effects of class size on three types of parental involvement--parent--child interactions, parent-school interaction, and parent-financed activities for children. Our results suggest that increases in class size are associated with a decrease in parent-child interaction, no change in parent-school interaction, but an increase in parent-financed activities. The magnitude of these effects is between 3% and 7% of a standard deviation. Controlling for parental involvement in test score regressions does not change the achievement effects of class size, suggesting that the benefits of class size reduction are unlikely to be neutralized by adjustments in parental inputs, at least during the first 2 years in school.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics of Education Review.

Volume (Year): 27 (2008)
Issue (Month): 6 (December)
Pages: 712-723

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:27:y:2008:i:6:p:712-723
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/econedurev

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  1. Das, Jishnu & Dercon, Stefan & Habyarimana, James & Krishnan, Pramila, 2004. "When can school inputs improve test scores?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3217, The World Bank.
  2. Kim, Hong-Kyun, 2001. "Is there a crowding-out effect between school expenditure and mother's child care time?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 71-80, February.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Alan Krueger, 1997. "Experimental Estimates of Education Production Functions," Working Papers 758, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  6. Caroline M. Hoxby, 2000. "The Effects Of Class Size On Student Achievement: New Evidence From Population Variation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1239-1285, November.
  7. Akerhielm, Karen, 1995. "Does class size matter?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 229-241, September.
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