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Classroom Grade Composition and Pupil Achievement

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  • Edwin Leuven
  • Marte Rønning

Abstract

This paper exploits discontinuous grade mixing rules in Norwegian junior high schools to estimate how classroom grade composition affects pupil achievement. Pupils in mixed grade classrooms are found to outperform pupils in single grade classrooms on high stake central exit tests and teacher set and graded tests. This effect is driven by pupils benefiting from sharing the classroom with more mature peers from higher grades. The presence of lower grade peers is detrimental for achievement. Pupils can therefore benefit from de-tracking by grade, but the effects depend crucially on how the classroom is balanced in terms of lower and higher grades. These results reconcile the contradictory findings in the literature.
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Suggested Citation

  • Edwin Leuven & Marte Rønning, 2016. "Classroom Grade Composition and Pupil Achievement," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(593), pages 1164-1192, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:econjl:v:126:y:2016:i:593:p:1164-1192
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/ecoj.2016.126.issue-593
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Fredriksson, Peter & Öckert, Björn & Oosterbeek, Hessel, 2014. "Inside the Black Box of Class Size: Mechanisms, Behavioral Responses, and Social Background," IZA Discussion Papers 8019, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Javier Valbuena & Mauro Mediavilla & Álvaro Choi & María Gil, 2021. "Effects Of Grade Retention Policies: A Literature Review Of Empirical Studies Applying Causal Inference," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(2), pages 408-451, April.
    3. Ballatore, Rosario Maria & Paccagnella, Marco & Tonello, Marco, 2020. "Bullied because younger than my mates? The effect of age rank on victimisation at school," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(C).
    4. Castro, Juan F. & Rolleston, Caine, 2018. "The contribution of early childhood and schools to cognitive gaps: New evidence from Peru," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 144-164.
    5. Gian Paolo Barbetta & Paolo Canino & Stefano Cima, 2019. "Let’s tweet again? The impact of social networks on literature achievement in high school students: Evidence from a randomized controlled trial," DISCE - Working Papers del Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza def081, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
    6. Chris Ryan, 2017. "Measurement of Peer Effects," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 50(1), pages 121-129, March.
    7. Gerhardts, Ilka & Sunde, Uwe & Zierow, Larissa, 2016. "Denominational Schools and Returns to Education - Gender Socialization in Multigrade Classrooms?," VfS Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145762, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education

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