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Teachers' Training, Class Size and Students' Outcomes: Learning from Administrative Forecasting Mistakes


  • Bressoux, Pascal

    () (Université de Grenoble)

  • Kramarz, Francis

    () (CREST (ENSAE))

  • Prost, Corinne

    () (CREST-INSEE)


This paper studies the impact of different teacher and class characteristics on third graders' outcomes. It uses a feature of the French system in which some novice teachers start their jobs before receiving any training. Three categories of teachers are included in the sample: experienced teachers, trained novice teachers and untrained novice teachers. To identify the effects, we use administrative mistakes in forecasting the number of teachers. We find that trained and untrained novice teachers are assigned to similar classes, whereas experienced teachers have better students located in better environments. Hence, in order to match similar students and classes, we focus on pupils with novice teachers and discard those with experienced teachers. In addition, we show that the same sample can be used to estimate the causal effect of class size on students' outcomes. Our findings are: (1) teachers' training substantially improves students' test scores in mathematics; (2) this training effect does not rely on different teaching practices, but mainly on subject matter competence; untrained teachers who majored in sciences at university improve their students' achievement as much as trained teachers do; (3) the class size effect is substantial and significant; class size does not seem to be correlated with instructional practices; (4) teachers' training does not improve the scores of initially low-achieving students and classes; on the contrary, a smaller class is more beneficial to low-achieving students within classes and to all students in low-achieving classes.

Suggested Citation

  • Bressoux, Pascal & Kramarz, Francis & Prost, Corinne, 2008. "Teachers' Training, Class Size and Students' Outcomes: Learning from Administrative Forecasting Mistakes," IZA Discussion Papers 3871, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3871

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lars Ljungqvist & Thomas J. Sargent, 1998. "The European Unemployment Dilemma," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(3), pages 514-550, June.
    2. den Haan, Wouter J. & Haefke, Christian & Ramey, Garey, 2001. "Shocks and Institutions in a Job Matching Model," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt7x3544bn, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
    3. Pallage, Stephane & Zimmermann, Christian, 2001. "Voting on Unemployment Insurance," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(4), pages 903-923, November.
    4. Carole Brunet & Andrew E. Clark & Jean-Yves Lesueur, 2006. "Statut résidentiel et durée de chômage : une comparaisonmicroéconométrique entre la Grande-Bretagne et la France," Post-Print halshs-00118751, HAL.
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    Cited by:

    1. Falch, Torberg & Johansen, Kåre & Strøm, Bjarne, 2009. "Teacher shortages and the business cycle," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 648-658, December.
    2. Abou, Pokou Edouard, 2015. "Incidence du travail domestique, des caractéristiques de l’école et du ménage sur les résultats scolaires des filles en Côte d’Ivoire
      [Incidence of domestic work, school and household characteristi
      ," MPRA Paper 43976, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Tanoli, Mubashar Farooq, 2016. "Impact of Training and Mentoring on Employee Performance - Empirical analysis of Public and Private Universities’ staff members of Islamabad," MPRA Paper 74956, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 07 Nov 2016.
    4. 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.
    5. Stephen Gibbons & Sandra McNally, 2013. "The Effects of Resources Across School Phases: A Summary of Recent Evidence," CEP Discussion Papers dp1226, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    6. Christopher Jepsen, 2015. "Class size: Does it matter for student achievement?," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 190-190, September.
    7. repec:zbw:espost:173233 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Alexis Le Chapelain, 2014. "Market for Education and Student Achievement," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/1jgbspo1909, Sciences Po.
    9. Bouguen, Adrien, 2016. "Adjusting content to individual student needs: Further evidence from an in-service teacher training program," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 90-112.
    10. 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


    teachers' training; class size;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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