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Class Size and Teacher Effects in Higher Education

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  • Gastón Illanes
  • Claudio Sapelli

Abstract

Using student evaluations as a learning measure, we estimate and compare class size and teacher effects for higher education, with emphasis on determining whether a comprehensive class size reduction policy that draws on the hiring of new teachers is likely to improve educational outcomes. We find that teacher effects far outweigh class size effects, and that young teachers and first time teachers perform significantly worse than their peers. Furthermore, we study whether teacher effects are correlated with observables, and find no significant variables beyond being a full time teacher. Overall, these findings suggest that at the higher education level the optimal strategy is to have large classrooms with highly qualified teachers.

Suggested Citation

  • Gastón Illanes & Claudio Sapelli, 2012. "Class Size and Teacher Effects in Higher Education," Documentos de Trabajo 418, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
  • Handle: RePEc:ioe:doctra:418
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    File URL: http://www.economia.uc.cl/docs/dt_418.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Eric A. Hanushek & Steven G. Rivkin, 2010. "Generalizations about Using Value-Added Measures of Teacher Quality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 267-271, May.
    2. Bedard, Kelly & Kuhn, Peter, 2008. "Where class size really matters: Class size and student ratings of instructor effectiveness," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 253-265, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Guillermo Jopen & Walter Gómez & Herbert Olivera, 2014. " Sistema educativo peruano: balance y agenda pendiente," Documentos de Trabajo / Working Papers 2014-379, Departamento de Economía - Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Class size; teacher effects; student evaluations;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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