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Does Class Size Matter for School Tracking Outcomes after Elementary School? Quasi-Experimental Evidence Using Administrative Panel Data from Germany

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  • Argaw, Bethlehem A.

    (Leibniz University of Hannover)

  • Puhani, Patrick A.

    (Leibniz University of Hannover)

Abstract

We use administrative panel data on about a quarter of a million students in the German state of Hesse to estimate the causal effect of class size on school tracking outcomes after elementary school. Our identification strategy relies on the quasi-random assignment of students to different class sizes based on maximum class size rules. In Germany, students are tracked into more or less academic middle school types at about age ten based, to a large extent, on academic achievement in elementary school. We mostly find no or small effects of class size in elementary school on receiving a recommendation or on the actual choice to attend the more academic middle school type. For male students, we find that an increase in class size by 10 students would reduce their chance of attending the higher school track – which more than 40 percent of students attend – by 3 percentage points.

Suggested Citation

  • Argaw, Bethlehem A. & Puhani, Patrick A., 2017. "Does Class Size Matter for School Tracking Outcomes after Elementary School? Quasi-Experimental Evidence Using Administrative Panel Data from Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 11208, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp11208
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

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    2. Bach, Maximilian, 2019. "Strategic grade retention," ZEW Discussion Papers 19-059, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    3. Silvia Angerer & Jana Bolvashenkova & Daniela Glätzle-Rützler & Philipp Lergetporer & Matthias Sutter, 2021. "Children's Patience and School-Track Choices Several Years Later: Linking Experimental and Field Data," CESifo Working Paper Series 9110, CESifo.
    4. Neumann, Uwe & Schaffner, Sandra & Eilers, Lea, 2019. "Bedeutung finanzieller Grundkompetenzen aus regionaler Perspektive. Gefördert durch die Dr. Josef und Brigitte Pauli-Stiftung," RWI Projektberichte, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, number 222358, September.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    administrative data; panel; class size; education production;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

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

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