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Instruction Time, Classroom Quality, and Academic Achievement

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  • Steven G. Rivkin
  • Jeffrey C. Schiman

Abstract

Many countries, American jurisdictions and charter schools have recently embraced longer school days or more time devoted to core academic classes. Recent research generally supports the notion that additional time raises achievement, though difficulties isolating an exogenous source of variation raise questions about the strength of much of the evidence. Moreover, it seems likely that the magnitude of any causal link between achievement and instruction time depends upon the quality of instruction, the classroom environment, and the rate at which students translate classroom time into added knowledge. In this paper we use panel data methods to investigate the pattern of instruction time effects in the 2009 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) data. The empirical analysis shows that achievement increases with instruction time and that the increase varies by both amount of time and classroom environment. These results indicate that school circumstances are important determinants of the likely benefits and desirability of increased instruction time.

Suggested Citation

  • Steven G. Rivkin & Jeffrey C. Schiman, 2013. "Instruction Time, Classroom Quality, and Academic Achievement," NBER Working Papers 19464, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19464
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jesse Rothstein, 2010. "Teacher Quality in Educational Production: Tracking, Decay, and Student Achievement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(1), pages 175-214.
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    3. Dennis Coates, 2003. "Education production functions using instructional time as an input," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(3), pages 273-292.
    4. Petra E. Todd & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2003. "On The Specification and Estimation of The Production Function for Cognitive Achievement," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages 3-33, February.
    5. Marcotte, Dave E., 2007. "Schooling and test scores: A mother-natural experiment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 629-640, October.
    6. Raj Chetty & John N. Friedman & Jonah E. Rockoff, 2011. "The Long-Term Impacts of Teachers: Teacher Value-Added and Student Outcomes in Adulthood," NBER Working Papers 17699, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Kuehn, Zoe & Landeras, Pedro, 2012. "Study Time and Scholarly Achievement in PISA," MPRA Paper 49033, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Dave E. Marcotte & Steven W. Hemelt, 2008. "Unscheduled School Closings and Student Performance," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 3(3), pages 316-338, July.
    9. Philipp Mandel & Bernd Süssmuth, 2011. "Total Instructional Time Exposure and Student Achievement: An Extreme Bounds Analysis Based on German State-Level Variation," CESifo Working Paper Series 3580, CESifo Group Munich.
    10. Brian A. Jacob & Lars Lefgren & David Sims, 2008. "The Persistence of Teacher-Induced Learning Gains," NBER Working Papers 14065, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Joshua D. Angrist & Susan M. Dynarski & Thomas J. Kane & Parag A. Pathak & Christopher R. Walters, 2010. "Inputs and Impacts in Charter Schools: KIPP Lynn," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 239-243, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:labeco:v:47:y:2017:i:c:p:15-34 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Ludger Woessmann, 2016. "The Importance of School Systems: Evidence from International Differences in Student Achievement," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 3-32, Summer.
    3. Huebener, Mathias & Marcus, Jan, 2017. "Compressing instruction time into fewer years of schooling and the impact on student performance," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 1-14.
    4. Andrés Barrios F. & Giulia Bovini, 2017. "It's Time to Learn: Understanding the Differences in Returns to Instruction Time," CEP Discussion Papers dp1521, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    5. Cuffe, Harold E. & Waddell, Glen R. & Bignell, Wesley, 2014. "Too Busy for School? The Effect of Athletic Participation on Absenteeism," IZA Discussion Papers 8426, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Huebener, Mathias & Kuger, Susanne & Marcus, Jan, 2017. "Increased instruction hours and the widening gap in student performance," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 15-34.
    7. Simon Søbstad Bensnes, 2016. "Preparation time, exam scores, and tertiary education," Working Paper Series 17216, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
    8. Cordero, José Manuel & Cristobal, Victor & Santín, Daniel, 2017. "Causal Inference on Education Policies: A Survey of Empirical Studies Using PISA, TIMSS and PIRLS," MPRA Paper 76295, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Maria A. Cattaneo & Chantal Oggenfuss & Stefan C. Wolter, 2017. "The more, the better? The impact of instructional time on student performance," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(5), pages 433-445, September.
    10. Fischer, Martin & Karlsson, Martin & Nilsson, Therese & Schwarz, Nina, 2016. "The Sooner the Better? Compulsory Schooling Reforms in Sweden," IZA Discussion Papers 10430, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Barrios Fernandez, Andrés & Bovini, Giulia, 2017. "It’s time to learn: understanding the differences in returns to instruction time," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 86618, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    12. Elena Claudia Meroni & Giovanni Abbiati, 2014. "Gender differences in exposure to more instruction time. Evidence from Italy," Working Papers 064, "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi.
    13. Joshua Goodman, 2014. "Flaking Out: Student Absences and Snow Days as Disruptions of Instructional Time," Working Paper 141961, Harvard University OpenScholar.
    14. Cordero, José Manuel & Gil, María & Pedraja Chaparro, Francisco, 2016. "Exploring the effect of financial literacy courses on student achievement: a cross-country approach using PISA 2012 data," MPRA Paper 75474, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Battistin, Erich & Meroni, Elena Claudia, 2016. "Should we increase instruction time in low achieving schools? Evidence from Southern Italy," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 39-56.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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