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Do smaller classes always improve students' long run outcomes?

Author

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  • Torberg Falch

    () (Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology)

  • Astrid Marie Jorde Sandsør

    () (Department of Economics, University of Oslo)

  • Bjarne Strøm

    () (Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology)

Abstract

We exploit the strict class size rule in Norway and matched individual and school register information for 1982?2011 to estimate long run causal effects on income and educational attainment. Contrary to recent evidence from the US and Sweden, we do not find any significant average effect on long run outcomes of reduced class size. We further use the large register data set and quasi-experimental strategy to estimate whether the class size effect depends on external conditions facing students and schools, such as teacher quality, extent of upper secondary school choice, school district size, local fiscal constraints and labor market conditions. Overall, we find that the class size effect does not depend on school district characteristics. The absence of class size effects on long run outcomes in Norway is consistent with earlier findings for short run outcomes using comparable data and empirical strategies.

Suggested Citation

  • Torberg Falch & Astrid Marie Jorde Sandsør & Bjarne Strøm, 2015. "Do smaller classes always improve students' long run outcomes?," Working Paper Series 16415, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
  • Handle: RePEc:nst:samfok:16415
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    File URL: http://www.svt.ntnu.no/iso/WP/2015/3-Falch_Sandsor_Strom.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Paul Bingley & Lorenzo Cappellari & Konstantinos Tatsiramos, 2014. "Family, Community and Long-Term Earnings Inequality," DISCE - Working Papers del Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza def017, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).

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    Keywords

    class size; school district; quasi-experiment; educational attainment; income;

    JEL classification:

    • H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations

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