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

Author

Listed:
  • Maria De Paola
  • Michela Ponzo
  • Vincenzo Scoppa

    (Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica, Università della Calabria)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Maria De Paola & Michela Ponzo & Vincenzo Scoppa, 2009. "Class Size Effects On Student Achievement: Heterogeneity Across Abilities And Fields," Working Papers 200919, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza "Giovanni Anania" - DESF.
  • Handle: RePEc:clb:wpaper:200919
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    File URL: http://www.ecostat.unical.it/RePEc/WorkingPapers/WP19_2009.pdf
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    Cited by:

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    2. Simone Balestra & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2014. "Heterogeneous effects of pupil-to-teacher ratio policies - A look at class size reduction and teacher aide," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0102, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW), revised Apr 2017.
    3. Alexei Karas, 2021. "The effect of class size on grades and course evaluations: Evidence from multisection courses," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 73(4), pages 624-642, October.
    4. Badruddoza, Syed & Amin, Modhurima Dey, 2023. "Impacts of Teaching Modality on U.S. COVID-19 Spread in Fall 2020 Semester," Applied Economics Teaching Resources (AETR), Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 5(1), January.
    5. Giulia Rossello, 2023. "The Effect of Government Cuts of Doctoral Scholarships on Science," LEM Papers Series 2023/33, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    6. Brunello, Giorgio & De Paola, Maria, 2013. "The Costs of Early School Leaving in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 7791, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Falch, Torberg & Iversen, Jon Marius Vaag & Nyhus, Ole Henning & Strøm, Bjarne, 2022. "Quality measures in higher education: Norwegian evidence," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 87(C).
    8. Bandar N. Alarifi & Steve Song, 2024. "Online vs in-person learning in higher education: effects on student achievement and recommendations for leadership," Palgrave Communications, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 11(1), pages 1-8, December.
    9. Alessio Gaggero & Getinet Haile, 2020. "Does class size matter in postgraduate education?," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 88(3), pages 489-505, June.
    10. Gourley, Patrick, 2021. "Back to basics: How reading the text and taking notes improves learning," International Review of Economics Education, Elsevier, vol. 37(C).
    11. Luigi Benfratello & Giuseppe Sorrenti & Gilberto Turati, 2015. "Tracking in the Tracks in the Italian Schooling: Inequality Patterns in an Urban Context," Working papers 030, Department of Economics and Statistics (Dipartimento di Scienze Economico-Sociali e Matematico-Statistiche), University of Torino.
    12. Luigi Benfratello & Giuseppe Sorrenti & Gilberto Turati, 2020. "Tracking in the tracks in the Italian public schooling: Inequality patterns in an urban context," ECONOMIA PUBBLICA, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2020(2), pages 39-70.
    13. Daniel E. Ho & Mark G. Kelman, 2014. "Does Class Size Affect the Gender Gap? A Natural Experiment in Law," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(2), pages 291-321.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Class size; student achievement; educational production function;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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