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Class Size and Class Heterogeneity

Author

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  • De Giorgi, Giacomo

    (University of Geneva)

  • Pellizzari, Michele

    (University of Geneva)

  • Woolston, William Gui

    (Stanford University)

Abstract

We study how class size and composition affect the academic and labor market performances of college students, two crucial policy questions given the secular increase in college enrollment. We rely on the random assignment of students to teaching classes. Our results suggest that a one standard deviation increase in the class-size would result in a 0.1 standard deviation deterioration of the average grade. Further, the effect is heterogenous as female and higher income students seem almost immune to the size of the class. Also, the effects on performance of class composition in terms of gender and ability appears to be inverse U-shaped. Finally, a reduction of 20 students (one standard deviation) in one's class size has a positive effect on monthly wages of about 80 Euros (115 USD) or 6% over the average.

Suggested Citation

  • De Giorgi, Giacomo & Pellizzari, Michele & Woolston, William Gui, 2009. "Class Size and Class Heterogeneity," IZA Discussion Papers 4443, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4443
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    class size; heterogeneity; experimental evidence; academic performance; wages;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • A22 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics - - - Undergraduate
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General

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