Do reductions in class size raise students’ test scores? Evidence from population variation in Minnesota's elementary schools
Many U.S. states and cities spend substantial funds to reduce class size, especially in elementary (primary) school. Estimating the impact of class size on learning is complicated, since children in small and large classes differ in many observed and unobserved ways. This paper uses a method of Hoxby (2000) to assess the impact of class size on the test scores of grade 3 and 5 students in Minnesota. The method exploits random variation in class size due to random variation in births in school and district catchment areas. The results show that reducing class size increases mathematics and reading test scores in Minnesota. Yet these impacts are very small; a decrease of ten students would increase test scores by only 0.04–0.05 standard deviations (of the distribution of test scores). Thus class size reductions are unlikely to lead to sizeable increases in student learning.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Bryan S. Graham, 2008. "Identifying Social Interactions Through Conditional Variance Restrictions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(3), pages 643-660, 05.
- Alan B. Krueger, 2002.
"Economic Considerations and Class Size,"
NBER Working Papers
8875, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Alan B. Krueger, 2000. "Economic Considerations and class size," Working Papers 975, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing..
- Alan Krueger, 2000. "Economic Considerations and Class Size," Working Papers 826, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
- Joshua D. Angrist & Victor Lavy, 1999. "Using Maimonides' Rule to Estimate the Effect of Class Size on Scholastic Achievement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(2), pages 533-575.
- Cameron,A. Colin & Trivedi,Pravin K., 2005. "Microeconometrics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521848053.
- Akerhielm, Karen, 1995. "Does class size matter?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 229-241, September.
- Jinyong Hahn & Jerry Hausman, 2003. "Weak Instruments: Diagnosis and Cures in Empirical Econometrics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 118-125, May.
- Steven G. Rivkin & Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain, 2005.
"Teachers, Schools, and Academic Achievement,"
Econometric Society, vol. 73(2), pages 417-458, 03.
- Caroline M. Hoxby, 2000. "The Effects of Class Size on Student Achievement: New Evidence from Population Variation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1239-1285.
- Hanushek, Eric A., 2006. "School Resources," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
- Alan B. Krueger, 1999. "Experimental Estimates of Education Production Functions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(2), pages 497-532.
- Hanushek, Eric A. & Rivkin, Steven G., 2006. "Teacher Quality," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:31:y:2012:i:3:p:77-95. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.