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The surprising effect of larger class sizes: Evidence using two identification strategies

  • Denny, Kevin
  • Oppedisano, Veruska

This paper estimates the marginal effect of class size on educational attainment of high school students. We control for the potential endogeneity of class size in two ways using a conventional instrumental variable approach, based on changes in cohort size, and an alternative method where identification is based on restrictions on higher moments. The data is drawn from the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) collected in 2003 for the United States and the United Kingdom. Using either method or the two in conjunction leads to the conclusion that increases in class size lead to improvements in student's mathematics scores. Only the results for the United Kingdom are statistically significant.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Labour Economics.

Volume (Year): 23 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 57-65

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Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:23:y:2013:i:c:p:57-65
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/labeco

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  1. Anne Case & Angus Deaton, 1999. "School Inputs And Educational Outcomes In South Africa," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 1047-1084, August.
  2. Dobbelsteen, Simone & Levin, Jesse & Oosterbeek, Hessel, 2002. " The Causal Effect of Class Size on Scholastic Achievement: Distinguishing the Pure Class Size Effect from the Effect of Changes in Class Composition," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 64(1), pages 17-38, February.
  3. Eric A. Hanushek, 2002. "The Failure of Input-based Schooling Policies," NBER Working Papers 9040, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  5. Claire Crawford & Lorraine Dearden & Costas Meghir, 2010. "When you are born matters: the impact of date of birth on educational outcomes in England," DoQSS Working Papers 10-09, Department of Quantitative Social Science - UCL Institute of Education, University College London.
  6. Ludger Wößmann & Martin R. West, 2002. "Class-Size Effects in School Systems Around the World: Evidence from Between-Grade Variation in TIMSS," Kiel Working Papers 1099, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  7. Roger Klein & Francis Vella, 2009. "Estimating the Return to Endogenous Schooling Decisions via Conditional Second Moments," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(4).
  8. Joseph J. Sabia, 2007. "The Effect of Body Weight on Adolescent Academic Performance," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 871–900, April.
  9. Datar, Ashlesha & Mason, Bryce, 2008. "Do reductions in class size "crowd out" parental investment in education?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 712-723, December.
  10. Lorraine Dearden & Javier Ferri & Costas Meghir, 1998. "The effect of school quality on educational attainment and wages," IFS Working Papers W98/03, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  11. Jackson, Erika & Page, Marianne E., 2013. "Estimating the distributional effects of education reforms: A look at Project STAR," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 92-103.
  12. Chetty, Raj & Friedman, John Norton & Hilger, Nathanial & Saez, Emmanuel & Schanzenbach, Dianne Whitmore & Yagan, Danny, 2011. "How Does Your Kindergarten Classroom Affect Your Earnings? Evidence from Project Star," Scholarly Articles 9639983, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
  13. Feinstein, Leon & Symons, James, 1999. "Attainment in Secondary School," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(2), pages 300-321, April.
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  16. Akerhielm, Karen, 1995. "Does class size matter?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 229-241, September.
  17. Christian Dustmann & Najma Rajah & Arthur van Soest, 2003. "Class Size, Education, and Wages," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages F99-F120, February.
  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. Roberto Rigobon, 2003. "Identification Through Heteroskedasticity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 777-792, November.
  20. Chingos, Matthew M., 2012. "The impact of a universal class-size reduction policy: Evidence from Florida's statewide mandate," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 543-562.
  21. 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.
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  23. Jesse Levin, 2001. "For whom the reductions count: A quantile regression analysis of class size and peer effects on scholastic achievement," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 221-246.
  24. Rosalind Levacic & Anna Vignoles, 2002. "Researching the Links between School Resources and Student Outcomes in the UK: A Review of Issues and Evidence," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(3), pages 313-331.
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