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Class-Size Effects in School Systems Around the World: Evidence from Between-Grade Variation in TIMSS

  • Woessmann, Ludger

    ()

    (Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

  • West, Martin R.

    ()

    (Harvard Graduate School of Education)

We estimate the effect of class size on student performance in 18 countries, combining school fixed effects and instrumental variables to identify random class-size variation between two adjacent grades within individual schools. Conventional estimates of class-size effects are shown to be severely biased by the non-random placement of students between and within schools. Smaller classes exhibit beneficial effects only in countries with relatively low teacher salaries. While we find sizable beneficial effects of smaller classes in Greece and Iceland, the possibility of even small effects is rejected in Japan and Singapore. In 11 countries, we rule out large class-size effects.

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File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp485.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 485.

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Length: 66 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2002
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: European Economic Review, 2006, 50 (3), 695-736
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp485
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  16. Urquiola, Miguel, 2001. "Identifying class size effects in developing countries : evidence from rural schools in Bolivia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2711, The World Bank.
  17. Joshua D. Angrist & Victor Lavy, 1999. "Using Maimonides' Rule To Estimate The Effect Of Class Size On Scholastic Achievement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 533-575, May.
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