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Class Size and Teacher Effects in Higher Education

  • Gastón Illanes
  • Claudio Sapelli

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.

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File URL: http://www.economia.puc.cl/docs/dt_418.pdf
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Paper provided by Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. in its series Documentos de Trabajo with number 418.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ioe:doctra:418
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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 267-71, 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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