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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 for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4443
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Anne Ardila Brenøe & Ulf Zölitz, 2018. "Exposure to more female peers widens the gender gap in STEM participation," ECON - Working Papers 285, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
    2. Edmark, Karin & Frölich, Markus & Wondratschek, Verena, 2014. "Sweden's school choice reform and equality of opportunity," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 129-142.
    3. Braga, Michela & Paccagnella, Marco & Pellizzari, Michele, 2014. "Evaluating students’ evaluations of professors," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 71-88.
    4. Fu, Shihe & Viard, Brian, 2014. "Commute Costs and Labor Supply: Evidence from a Satellite Campus," MPRA Paper 53740, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Marta De Philippis, 2015. "Multitask Agents and Incentives: The Case of Teaching and Research for University Professors," CEP Discussion Papers dp1386, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    6. Ostermaier, Andreas & Beltz, Philipp & Link, Susanne, 2013. "Do university policies matter? Effects of Course Policies on Performance," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79924, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    7. Jan Feld & Ulf Zölitz, 2017. "Understanding Peer Effects: On the Nature, Estimation, and Channels of Peer Effects," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(2), pages 387-428.
    8. Michela Braga & Marco Paccagnella & Michele Pellizzari, 2014. "The academic and labor market returns of university professors," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 981, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    9. Giacomo De Giorgi & Michele Pellizzari, 2014. "Understanding Social Interactions: Evidence from the Classroom," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 124(579), pages 917-953, September.
    10. List, John A. & Rasul, Imran, 2011. "Field Experiments in Labor Economics," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
    11. Stephen L. Ross & Zhentao Shi, 2016. "Measuring Social Interaction Effects when Instruments are Weak," Working papers 2016-37, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    12. Harding, Matthew & Lamarche, Carlos, 2014. "Estimating and testing a quantile regression model with interactive effects," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 178(P1), pages 101-113.
    13. Adam S. Booij & Edwin Leuven & Hessel Oosterbeek, 2017. "Ability Peer Effects in University: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(2), pages 547-578.
    14. Stephen L. Ross, 2009. "Social Interactions within Cities: Neighborhood Environments and Peer Relationships," Working papers 2009-31, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    15. Riphahn & Caroline Schwientek, 2015. "What drives the reversal of the gender education gap? Evidence from Germany," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(53), pages 5748-5775, November.
    16. repec:eee:ecoedu:v:58:y:2017:i:c:p:68-85 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Michela Braga & Marco Paccagnella & Michele Pellizzari, 2016. "The Impact of College Teaching on Students’ Academic and Labor Market Outcomes," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(3), pages 781-822.
    18. Goulas, Sofoklis & Megalokonomou, Rigissa & Zhang, Yi, 2018. "Does the Girl Next Door Affect Your Academic Outcomes and Career Choices?," IZA Discussion Papers 11910, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    19. Nicola Bianchi, 2015. "The General Effects of Educational Expansion," Discussion Papers 15-008, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
    20. Ulf Zölitz & Jan Feld, 2017. "The effect of peer gender on major choice," ECON - Working Papers 270, Department of Economics - University of Zurich, revised Aug 2018.
    21. Harding, Matthew & Lamarche, Carlos, 2014. "A Hausman–Taylor instrumental variable approach to the penalized estimation of quantile panel models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 124(2), pages 176-179.
    22. Martin Foureaux Koppensteiner, 2018. "Relative Age, Class Assignment, and Academic Performance: Evidence from Brazilian Primary Schools," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 120(1), pages 296-325, January.
    23. Fernando A Morales & Carlos A Osorio & Daniel Cabarcas J, 2018. "A big data based method for pass rates optimization in mathematics university lower division courses," Papers 1809.09724, arXiv.org.
    24. Mateus Moreira De Souza & Isabel Raposo & Tatiane Menezes, 2018. "Is Tracking Beneficial? Study Of Tracking Using Peer Effects," Anais do XLIV Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 44th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 204, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pós-Graduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].

    More about this item

    Keywords

    class size; heterogeneity; experimental evidence; academic performance; wages;

    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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