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Education Production Function and Class-Size Effects in Japanese Public Schools

Author

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  • Masakazu Hojo

Abstract

Education production functions are estimated using student-level achievement data for Japanese students, with emphasis on estimating the causal effect of class size on students' academic performance. The empirical results show that students‟ test scores are strongly affected by individual and family backgrounds, whereas school resource variables and teacher characteristics have a more limited impact. The causal effect of class size, which is currently being politically debated in Japan, is investigated using a regression discontinuity design. The estimation results suggest that class-size reduction has a weak impact on the academic performance of Japanese students.

Suggested Citation

  • Masakazu Hojo, 2011. "Education Production Function and Class-Size Effects in Japanese Public Schools," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series gd11-194, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  • Handle: RePEc:hst:ghsdps:gd11-194
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    File URL: http://gcoe.ier.hit-u.ac.jp/research/discussion/2008/pdf/gd11-194.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alan B. Krueger, 1999. "Experimental Estimates of Education Production Functions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(2), pages 497-532.
    2. Gary-Bobo, Robert J. & Mahjoub, Mohamed Badrane, 2006. "Estimation of Class-Size Effects, Using 'Maimonides' Rule': The Case of French Junior High Schools," CEPR Discussion Papers 5754, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Wo[ss]mann, Ludger & West, Martin, 2006. "Class-size effects in school systems around the world: Evidence from between-grade variation in TIMSS," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 695-736, April.
    4. 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.
    5. Miguel Urquiola & Eric Verhoogen, 2009. "Class-Size Caps, Sorting, and the Regression-Discontinuity Design," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 179-215, March.
    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. Edwin Leuven & Hessel Oosterbeek & Marte Rønning, 2008. "Quasi-experimental Estimates of the Effect of Class Size on Achievement in Norway," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 110(4), pages 663-693, December.
    8. Miguel Urquiola, 2006. "Identifying Class Size Effects in Developing Countries: Evidence from Rural Bolivia," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(1), pages 171-177, February.
    9. Andrea M. Mühlenweg & Patrick A. Puhani, 2010. "The Evolution of the School-Entry Age Effect in a School Tracking System," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(2).
    10. Christopher Jepsen & Steven Rivkin, 2009. "Class Size Reduction and Student Achievement: The Potential Tradeoff between Teacher Quality and Class Size," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(1).
    11. Hægeland, Torbjørn & Raaum, Oddbjørn & Salvanes, Kjell G., 2012. "Pennies from heaven? Using exogenous tax variation to identify effects of school resources on pupil achievement," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 601-614.
    12. Kawaguchi, Daiji, 2011. "Actual age at school entry, educational outcomes, and earnings," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 64-80, June.
    13. Takashi Oshio & Wataru Seno, 2007. "The Economics of Education in Japan: A Survey of Empirical Studies and Unresolved Issues," Japanese Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(1), pages 46-81.
    14. 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.
    15. Ludger Woesmann, 2003. "Schooling Resources, Educational Institutions and Student Performance: the International Evidence," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 65(2), pages 117-170, May.
    16. Fertig, Michael, 2003. "Educational Production, Endogenous Peer Group Formation and Class Composition – Evidence from the PISA 2000 Study," IZA Discussion Papers 714, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    17. Kelly Bedard & Elizabeth Dhuey, 2006. "The Persistence of Early Childhood Maturity: International Evidence of Long-Run Age Effects," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1437-1472.
    18. Hans Bonesrønning, 2003. "Class Size Effects on Student Achievement in Norway: Patterns and Explanations," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 69(4), pages 952-965, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hideo Akabayashi & Ryosuke Nakamura, 2014. "Can Small Class Policy Close the Gap? An Empirical Analysis of Class Size Effects in Japan," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 65(3), pages 253-281, September.
    2. Hideo Akabayashi & Ryosuke Nakamura, 2012. "Can Small Class Policy Close The Gap? An Empirical Analysis Of Class Size Effects In Japan," Working Papers e51, Tokyo Center for Economic Research.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Education production function; Class size; Regression discontinuity design; Japan;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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