Using Maimonides' Rule to Estimate the Effect of Class Size on Scholastic Achievement
The twelfth century rabbinic scholar Maimonides proposed a maximum class size of 40. This same maximum induces a nonlinear and nonmonotonic relationship between grade enrollment and class size in Israeli public schools today. Maimonides' rule of 40 is used here to construct instrumental variables estimates of effects of class size on test scores. The resulting identification strategy can be viewed as an application of Donald Campbell's regression-discontinuity design to the class-size question. The estimates show that reducing class size induces a significant and substantial increase in test scores for fourth and fifth graders, although not for third graders.
Volume (Year): 114 (1999)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
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