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Class size: Does it matter for student achievement?

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  • Christopher Jepsen

    (University College Dublin, Ireland, and IZA, Germany)

Abstract

Numerous economic studies have considered the relationship between class size and student achievement, the majority of which have focused on elementary schools in the US and Europe. While the general finding is that smaller classes are associated with increased student achievement, a few high-quality studies find no relationship. Further, empirical research on the costs and benefits of smaller classes concludes that other education policies, such as tutoring, early childhood programs, or improving teacher quality would be better investments.

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher Jepsen, 2015. "Class size: Does it matter for student achievement?," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 190-190, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izawol:journl:y:2015:n:190
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Steven G. Rivkin & Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain, 2005. "Teachers, Schools, and Academic Achievement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(2), pages 417-458, March.
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    4. Wo[ss]mann, Ludger & West, Martin, 2006. "Class-size effects in school systems around the world: Evidence from between-grade variation in TIMSS," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 695-736, April.
    5. Peter Fredriksson & Björn Öckert & Hessel Oosterbeek, 2013. "Long-Term Effects of Class Size," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(1), pages 249-285.
    6. Paul Bingley & Vibeke Myrup Jensen & Ian Walker, 2007. "The Effect of School Class Size on Post-Compulsory Education: Some Cost Benefit Analysis," Working Papers 200717, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    7. Matthew M. Chingos & Kenneth A. Couch, 2013. "Class Size and Student Outcomes: Research and Policy Implications," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 32(2), pages 411-438, March.
    8. Duflo, Esther & Dupas, Pascaline & Kremer, Michael, 2015. "School governance, teacher incentives, and pupil–teacher ratios: Experimental evidence from Kenyan primary schools," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 92-110.
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    11. Edwin Leuven & Hessel Oosterbeek & Marte Rønning, 2008. "Quasi‐experimental Estimates of the Effect of Class Size on Achievement in Norway," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 110(4), pages 663-693, December.
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    14. Christopher Jepsen & Steven Rivkin, 2009. "Class Size Reduction and Student Achievement: The Potential Tradeoff between Teacher Quality and Class Size," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(1).
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    18. Berrara, A., 1989. "The Interactive Effects Of Mother'S Schooling And Unsupplemented Breastfeeding On Child Health," Papers 572, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
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    21. David Sims, 2008. "A strategic response to class size reduction: Combination classes and student achievement in California," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(3), pages 457-478.
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    23. Akerhielm, Karen, 1995. "Does class size matter?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 229-241, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. John Cullinan & Kevin Denny & Darragh Flannery, 2018. "A Distributional Analysis of Upper Secondary School Performance," Working Papers 201808, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    2. repec:eee:ireced:v:30:y:2019:i:c:p:- is not listed on IDEAS
    3. John Cullinan & Kevin Denny & Darragh Flannery, 2018. "A Distributional Analysis of Upper Secondary School Performance," Working Papers 201806, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    4. Comi, Simona Lorena & Argentin, Gianluca & Gui, Marco & Origo, Federica & Pagani, Laura, 2017. "Is it the way they use it? Teachers, ICT and student achievement," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 24-39.
    5. repec:kea:keappr:ker-20190701-35-2-01 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Haepp, Tobias & Lyu, Lidan, 2018. "The Impact of Primary School Investment Reallocation on Educational Attainment in Rural Areas of the People’s Republic of China," ADBI Working Papers 821, Asian Development Bank Institute.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    education; class size; student achievement;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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