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Increased Instruction Hours and the Widening Gap in Student Performance

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  • Mathias Huebener
  • Susanne Kuger
  • Jan Marcus

Abstract

Do increased instruction hours improve the performance of all students? Using PISA scores of students in ninth grade, we analyse the effect of a German education reform that increased weekly instruction hours by two hours (6.5 percent) overalmost five years. In the additional time, students are taught new learning content. On average, the reform improves student performance. However, treatment effects are small and differ across the student performance distribution. While low-performing students do not benefit, high-performing students benefit the most. The findings suggest that increases in instruction hours can widen the gap between low- and high-performing students.

Suggested Citation

  • Mathias Huebener & Susanne Kuger & Jan Marcus, 2016. "Increased Instruction Hours and the Widening Gap in Student Performance," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1561, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp1561
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    Cited by:

    1. Huebener, Mathias & Kuger, Susanne & Marcus, Jan, 2017. "Increased instruction hours and the widening gap in student performance," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 15-34.
    2. Vincenzo Andrietti & Xuejuan Su, 2019. "The Impact of Schooling Intensity on Student Learning: Evidence from a Quasi-Experiment," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 14(4), pages 679-701, Fall.
    3. Quis, Johanna Sophie & Reif, Simon, 2017. "Health effects of instruction intensity: Evidence from a natural experiment in German high-schools," FAU Discussion Papers in Economics 12/2017, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Institute for Economics.
    4. Katharina Wedel, 2021. "Instruction Time and Student Achievement: The Moderating Role of Teacher Qualifications," ifo Working Paper Series 344, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    5. Huebener, Mathias & Marcus, Jan, 2017. "Compressing instruction time into fewer years of schooling and the impact on student performance," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 1-14.
    6. Barrios Fernandez, Andrés & Bovini, Giulia, 2017. "It’s time to learn: understanding the differences in returns to instruction time," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 86618, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    7. Marcus, Jan & Reif, Simon & Wuppermann, Amelie & Rouche, Amélie, 2020. "Increased instruction time and stress-related health problems among school children," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(C).
    8. Dominique Sulzmaier, 2020. "The causal effect of early tracking in German schools on the intergenerational transmission of education," Working Papers 187, Bavarian Graduate Program in Economics (BGPE).
    9. Martin Fischer & Martin Karlsson & Therese Nilsson & Nina Schwarz, 2020. "The Long-Term Effects of Long Terms – Compulsory Schooling Reforms in Sweden," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 18(6), pages 2776-2823.
    10. Hofmann, Sarah & Mühlenweg, Andrea, 2018. "Learning intensity effects in students’ mental and physical health – Evidence from a large scale natural experiment in Germany," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 216-234.
    11. Derek Wu, 2020. "Disentangling the Effects of the School Year from the School Day: Evidence from the TIMSS Assessments," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 15(1), pages 104-135, Winter.
    12. Dahmann, Sarah C., 2017. "How does education improve cognitive skills? Instructional time versus timing of instruction," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 35-47.
    13. Ismael Sanz & J .D. Tenaa, 2020. "A Natural Experiment on the Effect of Instruction Time and Quality: Lessons for the Covid-19 Outbreak," Working Papers 202032, University of Liverpool, Department of Economics.
    14. Arnim Seidlitz & Larissa Zierow, 2020. "The Impact of All-Day Schools on Student Achievement - Evidence from Extending School Days in German Primary Schools," CESifo Working Paper Series 8618, CESifo.
    15. Barrios-Fernández, Andrés & Bovini, Giulia, 2021. "It’s time to learn: School institutions and returns to instruction time," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 80(C).
    16. Jan Marcus & Vaishali Zambre, 2019. "The Effect of Increasing Education Efficiency on University Enrollment: Evidence from Administrative Data and an Unusual Schooling Reform in Germany," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 54(2), pages 468-502.
    17. Fischer, Martin & Karlsson, Martin & Nilsson, Therese & Schwarz, Nina, 2016. "The Sooner the Better? Compulsory Schooling Reforms in Sweden," IZA Discussion Papers 10430, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    18. Joan Costa-i-Font & Jorge García-Hombrados & Anna Nicińska, 2020. "Long-Lasting Effects of Communist Indoctrination in School: Evidence from Poland," CESifo Working Paper Series 8766, CESifo.
    19. Bingley, Paul & Heinesen, Eskil & Krassel, Karl Fritjof & Kristensen, Nicolai, 2018. "The Timing of Instruction Time: Accumulated Hours, Timing and Pupil Achievement," IZA Discussion Papers 11807, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    20. Anselme Simeon Sanou & Abdoulaye Hama Diallo & Penny Holding & Victoria Nankabirwa & Ingunn Marie S Engebretsen & Grace Ndeezi & James K Tumwine & Nicolas Meda & Thorkild Tylleskar & Esperance Kashala, 2018. "Effects of schooling on aspects of attention in rural Burkina Faso, West Africa," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 13(9), pages 1-16, September.
    21. Ryu, Hanbyul & Helfand, Steven M. & Moreira, Roni Barbosa, 2020. "Starting early and staying longer: The effects of a Brazilian primary schooling reform on student performance," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 130(C).
    22. Roller, Marcus & Steinberg, Daniel, 2020. "The distributional effects of early school stratification - non-parametric evidence from Germany," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 125(C).
    23. Simon Briole, 2019. "From Teacher Quality to Teaching Quality: Instructional Productivity and Teaching Practices in the US," Working Papers halshs-01993616, HAL.
    24. Thompson, Paul N., 2021. "Is four less than five? Effects of four-day school weeks on student achievement in Oregon," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 193(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Instruction time; student achievement; PISA; G8-high school reform; quantile regressions; curriculum; difference-in-differences;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • D04 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Policy: Formulation; Implementation; Evaluation
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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