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Does Class Size Affect Student 'Grit'? Evidence from a Randomised Experiment in Early Grades

Author

Listed:
  • Jana Gross

    () (ETH Zurich)

  • Simone Balestra

    () (University of St. Gallen)

  • Uschi Backes-Gellner

    () (University of Zurich)

Abstract

The increasing recognition of non-cognitive skills has led many researchers to investigate how educational practices enhance these skills. In this paper, we focus on the non-cognitive skill known as 'grit', and we study the relation between class size and grit in early grades. Using data from follow-up surveys of Project STAR, we show that fourth-grade pupils who experienced small classes during early grades are 0.12 standard deviations higher in grit than their peers in regular classes. Sub-sample analysis reveals that particularly boys and non-white pupils increase their grit in smaller classes. We also show that grit matters, because half of the effect of smaller classes on test scores entirely operates through grit.

Suggested Citation

  • Jana Gross & Simone Balestra & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2017. "Does Class Size Affect Student 'Grit'? Evidence from a Randomised Experiment in Early Grades," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0129, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW).
  • Handle: RePEc:iso:educat:0129
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    File URL: http://repec.business.uzh.ch/RePEc/iso/leadinghouse/0129_lhwpaper.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    class size; grit; non-cognitive skills;

    JEL classification:

    • C20 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - General
    • C36 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Instrumental Variables (IV) Estimation
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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