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Parental responses to public investments in children: evidence from a maximum class size rule

Author

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  • Fredriksson, Peter

    () (Stockholm university, IZA, IFAU and Uppsala center for Labor Studies (UCLS))

  • Oosterbeek, Hessel

    () (University of Amsterdam)

  • Öckert, Björn

    () (IFAU and Uppsala Center for Labor Studies (UCLS))

Abstract

We study differential parental responses to variation in class size induced by a maximum class size rule in Swedish schools. In response to an increase in class size: (i) only high-income parents help their children more with homework; (ii) all parents are more likely to move their child to another school; and (iii) only low-income children find their teachers harder to follow when taught in a larger class. These findings indicate that public and private investments in children are substitutes, and help explain why the negative effect of class size on achievement in our data is concentrated among low-income children.

Suggested Citation

  • Fredriksson, Peter & Oosterbeek, Hessel & Öckert, Björn, 2015. "Parental responses to public investments in children: evidence from a maximum class size rule," Working Paper Series 2015:27, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:ifauwp:2015_027
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Eskil Heinesen, 2010. "Estimating Class-size Effects using Within-school Variation in Subject-specific Classes," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(545), pages 737-760, June.
    2. Datar, Ashlesha & Mason, Bryce, 2008. "Do reductions in class size "crowd out" parental investment in education?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 712-723, December.
    3. Krueger, Alan B & Whitmore, Diane M, 2001. "The Effect of Attending a Small Class in the Early Grades on College-Test Taking and Middle School Test Results: Evidence from Project STAR," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(468), pages 1-28, January.
    4. Gary S. Becker & Nigel Tomes, 1994. "Human Capital and the Rise and Fall of Families," NBER Chapters,in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition), pages 257-298 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. McCrary, Justin, 2008. "Manipulation of the running variable in the regression discontinuity design: A density test," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 698-714, February.
    6. 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.
    7. 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 for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Cristian Pop-Eleches & Miguel Urquiola, 2013. "Going to a Better School: Effects and Behavioral Responses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(4), pages 1289-1324, June.
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    11. Hanushek, Eric A. & Kain, John F. & Rivkin, Steven G., 2004. "Disruption versus Tiebout improvement: the costs and benefits of switching schools," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1721-1746, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Goux, Dominique & Gurgand, Marc & Maurin, Eric, 2017. "Reading enjoyment and reading skills: Lessons from an experiment with first grade children," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 17-25.
    2. Siebert, W. Stanley & Wei, Xiangdong & Wong, Ho Lun & Zhou, Xiang, 2018. "Student Feedback, Parent-Teacher Communication, and Academic Performance: Experimental Evidence from Rural China," IZA Discussion Papers 11347, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Jana Gross & Simone Balestra & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2017. "Class Size in Early Grades, Student Grit and Later School Outcomes," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0129, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW), revised Sep 2018.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    class size; parental responses; social background; regression discontinuity;

    JEL classification:

    • C31 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models; Quantile Regressions; Social Interaction Models
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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