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

Author

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  • Jakubowski, Maciej
  • Sakowski, Pawel

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Jakubowski, Maciej & Sakowski, Pawel, 2006. "Quasi-Experimental Estimates of Class Size Effect in Primary Schools in Poland," MPRA Paper 4958, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:4958
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/4958/1/MPRA_paper_4958.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 2001. "Instrumental Variables and the Search for Identification: From Supply and Demand to Natural Experiments," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(4), pages 69-85, Fall.
    2. Wo[ss]mann, Ludger & West, Martin, 2006. "Class-size effects in school systems around the world: Evidence from between-grade variation in TIMSS," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 695-736, April.
    3. Ludger Wößmann, 2003. "European education production functions: what makes a difference for student achievement in Europe?," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 190, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    4. Eric A. Hanushek, 2003. "The Failure of Input-Based Schooling Policies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages 64-98, February.
    5. Alan B. Krueger, 2003. "Economic Considerations and Class Size," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages 34-63, February.
    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. 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.
    8. Akerhielm, Karen, 1995. "Does class size matter?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 229-241, September.
    9. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Miguel Urquiola & Eric Verhoogen, 2009. "Class-Size Caps, Sorting, and the Regression-Discontinuity Design," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 179-215.
    2. Tom Coupe & Anna Olefir & Juan Diego Alonso, 2011. "Is Optimization an Opportunity? An Assessment of the Impact of Class Size and School Size on the Performance of Ukrainian Secondary Schools," Discussion Papers 44, Kyiv School of Economics.
    3. Ángela Rocío López Sánchez & Andrés Felipe Virgüez Clavijo & Jaime Andrés Sarmiento Espinel & Adriana Carolina Silva Arias, 2015. "El efecto de la gerencia privada de escuelas públicas en el desempeño estudiantil en la educación media en Colombia," REVISTA ECOS DE ECONOMÍA, UNIVERSIDAD EAFIT, vol. 19(41), pages 108-136, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    class size; educational achievement; student sorting; school fixed effects; instrumental variables; regression discontinuity design;

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • C31 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models; Quantile Regressions; Social Interaction Models
    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education

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