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The effect of class size on student achievement: evidence from Bangladesh

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  • M. Niaz Asadullah

Abstract

This study examines the effect of class size on student achievement in Bangladesh using national secondary school survey data. A Ministry of Education rule regarding allocation of teachers to secondary grades is exploited to construct an instrument for class size. This rule causes a discontinuity between grade enrolment and class size thereby generating exogenous variation in the latter. It is found that OLS and IV estimates of class size effects have perverse signs: both yield a positive coefficient on the class size variable. The results suggest that reduction in class size in secondary grades is not efficient in a developing country like Bangladesh. Last, as by-product, some evidence is found suggesting that greater competition among schools improve student achievement.

Suggested Citation

  • M. Niaz Asadullah, 2005. "The effect of class size on student achievement: evidence from Bangladesh," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(4), pages 217-221.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:apeclt:v:12:y:2005:i:4:p:217-221
    DOI: 10.1080/1350485042000323608
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alan B. Krueger, 1999. "Experimental Estimates of Education Production Functions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(2), pages 497-532.
    2. 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.
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    4. 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.
    5. Urquiola, Miguel, 2001. "Identifying class size effects in developing countries : evidence from rural schools in Bolivia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2711, The World Bank.
    6. Edward P. Lazear, 2001. "Educational Production," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(3), pages 777-803.
    7. Marlow, Michael L., 1999. "Spending, school structure, and public education quality. Evidence from California," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 89-106, February.
    8. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Miguel Urquiola & Eric Verhoogen, 2009. "Class-Size Caps, Sorting, and the Regression-Discontinuity Design," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 179-215, March.
    2. David K. Evans & Anna Popova, 2016. "What Really Works to Improve Learning in Developing Countries? An Analysis of Divergent Findings in Systematic Reviews," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 31(2), pages 242-270.
    3. Tom Coupe & Anna Olefir & Juan Diego Alonso, 2011. "Is Optimization an Opportunity? An Assessment of the Impact of Class Size and School Size on the Performance of Ukrainian Secondary Schools," Discussion Papers 44, Kyiv School of Economics.
    4. Daniel Suryadarma & Asep Suryahadi & Sudarno Sumarto & F. Halsey Rogers, 2006. "Improving Student Performance in Public Primary Schools in Developing Countries: Evidence from Indonesia," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(4), pages 401-429.
    5. David S. Lee & Thomas Lemieux, 2010. "Regression Discontinuity Designs in Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(2), pages 281-355, June.
    6. Mohammad Niaz Asadullah, 2006. "Returns to Education in Bangladesh," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(4), pages 453-468.
    7. Niaz Asadullah, Mohammad & Chaudhury, Nazmul & Dar, Amit, 2007. "Student achievement conditioned upon school selection: Religious and secular secondary school quality in Bangladesh," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 648-659, December.
    8. Asadullah, M. Niaz, 2009. "Returns to private and public education in Bangladesh and Pakistan: A comparative analysis," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 77-86, January.
    9. David S. Lee & Thomas Lemieux, 2009. "Regression Discontinuity Designs In Economics," Working Papers 1118, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    10. Dang, Hai-Anh & Sarr, Leopold & Asadullah, Niaz, 2011. "School Access, Resources, and Learning Outcomes: Evidence from a Non-formal School Program in Bangladesh," IZA Discussion Papers 5659, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Stephen Gibbons & Sandra McNally, 2013. "The Effects of Resources Across School Phases: A Summary of Recent Evidence," CEP Discussion Papers dp1226, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    12. Masino, Serena & Niño-Zarazúa, Miguel, 2016. "What works to improve the quality of student learning in developing countries?," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 53-65.
    13. Emiliana Vegas & Chelsea Coffin, 2015. "Cuando el gasto en la educación importa: Un análisis empírico de información internacional reciente," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 88093, Inter-American Development Bank.
    14. Lant Pritchett, Justin Sandefur, 2013. "Context Matters for Size: Why External Validity Claims and Development Practice Don't Mix-Working Paper 336," Working Papers 336, Center for Global Development.

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