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Class Size Effects On Student Achievement: Heterogeneity Across Abilities And Fields

  • Maria De Paola

    ()

  • Michela Ponzo

    ()

  • Vincenzo Scoppa

    ()

    (Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica, Università della Calabria)

In this paper we analyze class size effects on college students exploiting data from a project offering special remedial courses in Mathematics and Language skills to freshmen enrolled at an Italian medium sized public University. To estimate the effects of class size we take advantage of the fact that students and teacher where virtually randomly assigned to teaching classes of different sizes. From our analysis it emerges that, controlling for a number of individual characteristics, larger classes determine a significant and sizeable negative effect on student performance in Mathematics. Importantly, this negative effect is significantly larger for low ability students and negligible for high ability students. On the other hand, class size effects do not appear to be relevant for student achievement in Language Skills.

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File URL: http://www.ecostat.unical.it/RePEc/WorkingPapers/WP19_2009.pdf
File Function: First version, 2009-12
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Paper provided by Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza (Ex Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica) in its series Working Papers with number 200919.

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Length: 15 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:clb:wpaper:200919
Contact details of provider: Postal: Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza, Ponte Pietro Bucci, Cubo 0/C, I-87036 Arcavacata di Rende, CS, Italy
Phone: +39 0984 492413
Fax: +39 0984 492421
Web page: http://www.unical.it/portale/strutture/dipartimenti_240/disesf/

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  1. David Card & Alan Krueger, 1990. "Does School Quality Matter? Returns to Education and the Characteristics of Public Schools in the United States," Working Papers 645, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  2. Alan B. Krueger, 1997. "Experimental Estimates of Education Production Functions," NBER Working Papers 6051, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Eric A. Hanushek, 2002. "Publicly Provided Education," NBER Working Papers 8799, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. De Paola, Maria & Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2009. "Effects of Class Size on Achievement of College Students," MPRA Paper 16945, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Leuven, Edwin & Oosterbeek, Hessel & Rønning, Marte, 2008. "Quasi-Experimental Estimates of the Effect of Class Size on Achievement in Norway," IZA Discussion Papers 3474, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Steven G. Rivkin, 1998. "Teachers, Schools, and Academic Achievement," NBER Working Papers 6691, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. 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.
  8. Alan B. Krueger, 2000. "Economic Considerations and class size," Working Papers 975, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing..
  9. 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.
  10. Bandiera, Oriana & Larcinese, Valentino & Rasul, Imran, 2009. "Heterogeneous Class Size Effects: New Evidence from a Panel of University Students," IZA Discussion Papers 4496, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Moulton, Brent R., 1986. "Random group effects and the precision of regression estimates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 385-397, August.
  12. Hanushek, Eric A, 1986. "The Economics of Schooling: Production and Efficiency in Public Schools," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 24(3), pages 1141-77, September.
  13. 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.
  14. Jonah E. Rockoff, 2004. "The Impact of Individual Teachers on Student Achievement: Evidence from Panel Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 247-252, May.
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