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Quasi-Experimental Estimates of Class Size Effect in Primary Schools in Poland

  • Jakubowski, Maciej
  • Sakowski, Pawel

In this paper we analyze class size effects in the case of primary schools in Poland. We use two empirical strategies to avoid endogeneity bias. First, we use average class size in a grade as an instrumental variable for actual class size. This allows us to control for within school selection of pupils with different abilities to classes of different sizes. Additionally, we estimate fixed effects for schools to control for differences between them. Second, we exploit the fact that there is an informal maximum class size rule. We estimate class size effect only for those enrollment levels where some schools decide to add a new class and thus dramatically lower class sizes. For such enrollment levels variance of class size is mainly exogenous and we argue that this allows to estimate quasi-experimental class size effects. In this case we again use average class size as an instrument with enrollment as a key control variable. Using both strategies we obtain similar findings. We found that the positive effects observed with OLS regression disappear when we use instrumental variables. If we avoid endogeneity bias, then class size negatively affects student achievement. However, this effect is rather small. We discuss methodology, possible bias of results and the importance of our findings to current policy issues in Poland.

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File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/4958/1/MPRA_paper_4958.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 4958.

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Date of creation: 15 Mar 2006
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:4958
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  1. Woessmann, Ludger & West, Martin R., 2002. "Class-Size Effects in School Systems Around the World: Evidence from Between-Grade Variation in TIMSS," IZA Discussion Papers 485, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Ludger Woessmann, 2004. "European "Education Production Functions": What Makes A Difference For Student Achievement In Europe?," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2004 93, Royal Economic Society.
  3. Joshua D. Angrist & Victor Lavy, 1999. "Using Maimonides' Rule to Estimate the Effect of Class Size on Scholastic Achievement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(2), pages 533-575.
  4. Eric A. Hanushek, 2002. "The Failure of Input-based Schooling Policies," NBER Working Papers 9040, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Joshua Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 2001. "Instrumental Variables and the Search for Identification: From Supply and Demand to Natural Experiments," NBER Working Papers 8456, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Caroline M. Hoxby, 1998. "The Effects of Class Size and Composition on Student Achievement: New Evidence from Natural Population Variation," NBER Working Papers 6869, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Akerhielm, Karen, 1995. "Does class size matter?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 229-241, September.
  8. Alan B. Krueger, 2003. "Economic Considerations and Class Size," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages F34-F63, February.
  9. 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.
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