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Long-Term Effects of School Size on Students' Outcomes

  • Humlum, Maria Knoth

    ()

    (Aarhus University)

  • Smith, Nina

    ()

    (Aarhus University)

We estimate the effect of school size on students' long-term outcomes such as high school completion, being out of the labor market, and earnings at the age of 30. We use rich register data on the entire population of Danish children attending grade 9 in the period 1986-2004. This allows us to compare the results of different fixed effect and instrumental variables estimators. We use the natural population variation in the residential catchment areas and school openings and closures to instrument for actual school size. We find a robust positive but numerically fairly small relationship between school size and alternative measures of long-term success in the educational system and the labor market. The positive impact of school size seems mainly to be driven by boys, students from families with a low educational level and students attending schools in urban areas.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 8032.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8032
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  1. Richard Barnett & J. Colin Glass & Roger Snowdon & Karl Stringer, 2002. "Size, Performance and Effectiveness: Cost-Constrained Measures of Best-Practice Performance and Secondary-School Size," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(3), pages 291-311.
  2. Hanushek, Eric A., 2006. "School Resources," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
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  4. Kuziemko, Ilyana, 2006. "Using shocks to school enrollment to estimate the effect of school size on student achievement," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 63-75, February.
  5. S Bradley & J Taylor, . "The Effect of School Size on Exam Performance in Secondary Schools," Working Papers cr01/98, Department of Economics, University of Lancaster.
  6. J Millington & S Bradley, . "The Effect of Spatial Competition on Secondary School Exam Performance," Working Papers cr04/98, Department of Economics, University of Lancaster.
  7. Foreman-Peck, James & Foreman-Peck, Lorraine, 2006. "Should schools be smaller? The size-performance relationship for Welsh schools," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 157-171, April.
  8. Schwartz, Amy Ellen & Stiefel, Leanna & Wiswall, Matthew, 2013. "Do small schools improve performance in large, urban districts? Causal evidence from New York City," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 27-40.
  9. Caroline M. Hoxby, 2000. "The Effects Of Class Size On Student Achievement: New Evidence From Population Variation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1239-1285, November.
  10. Ambrose Leung & J. Stephen Ferris, 2002. "School Size and Youth Violence," Carleton Economic Papers 02-10, Carleton University, Department of Economics, revised Feb 2008.
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  12. Fredriksson, Peter & Öckert, Björn & Oosterbeek, Hessel, 2012. "Long-term effects of class size," Research Papers in Economics 2012:8, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  13. Jones, John T. & Toma, Eugenia F. & Zimmer, Ron W., 2008. "School attendance and district and school size," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 140-148, April.
  14. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2013. "Under Pressure? The Effect of Peers on Outcomes of Young Adults," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 119 - 153.
  15. repec:lan:wpaper:4472 is not listed on IDEAS
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  18. Thomas S. Dee, 2003. "Are There Civic Returns to Education?," NBER Working Papers 9588, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Andrews, Matthew & Duncombe, William & Yinger, John, 2002. "Revisiting economies of size in American education: are we any closer to a consensus?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 245-262, June.
  20. Walsh, Patrick, 2010. "Is parental involvement lower at larger schools?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 959-970, December.
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  23. Heinesen, Eskil, 2005. "School district size and student educational attainment: evidence from Denmark," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 677-689, December.
  24. Janet Currie & Enrico Moretti, 2003. "Mother'S Education And The Intergenerational Transmission Of Human Capital: Evidence From College Openings," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1495-1532, November.
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