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Classroom grade composition and pupil achievement

This paper exploits discontinuous grade mixing rules in Norwegian junior high schools to estimate how classroom grade composition affects pupil achievement. Pupils in mixed grade classrooms are found to outperform pupils in single grade classrooms. This finding is driven by pupils benefiting from sharing the classroom with more mature peers from higher grades. The presence of lower grade peers is detrimental for achievement. Pupils can therefore benefit from de-tracking by grade, but the effects depend crucially on how the classroom is balanced in terms of lower and higher grades. These results reconcile the contradictory findings in the literature.

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Paper provided by Research Department of Statistics Norway in its series Discussion Papers with number 722.

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Date of creation: Dec 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ssb:dispap:722
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  1. Miguel Urquiola & Eric Verhoogen, 2007. "Class Size and Sorting in Market Equilibrium: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 13303, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Marte Rønning & Edvin Leuven & Hessel Oosterbeek, 2008. "Quasi-experimental estimates of the effect of class size on achievement in Norway," Working Paper Series 9308, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
  3. McCrary, Justin, 2008. "Manipulation of the running variable in the regression discontinuity design: A density test," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 698-714, February.
  4. Torbjørn Hægeland & Oddbjørn Raaum & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2007. "Pennies from heaven. Using exogenous tax variation to identify effects of school resources on pupil achievement," Discussion Papers 508, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
  5. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2010. "Under Pressure? The Effect of Peers on Outcomes of Young Adults," NBER Working Papers 16004, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-74, June.
  7. Victor Lavy & M. Daniele Paserman & Analia Schlosser, 2012. "Inside the Black Box of Ability Peer Effects: Evidence from Variation in the Proportion of Low Achievers in the Classroom," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(559), pages 208-237, 03.
  8. Victor Lavy & Analia Schlosser, 2011. "Mechanisms and Impacts of Gender Peer Effects at School," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 1-33, April.
  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, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 533-575, May.
  10. Victor Lavy & M. Daniele Paserman & Analia Schlosser, 2008. "Inside the Black of Box of Ability Peer Effects: Evidence from Variation in the Proportion of Low Achievers in the Classroom," NBER Working Papers 14415, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Andreas Ammermueller & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2009. "Peer Effects in European Primary Schools: Evidence from the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(3), pages 315-348, 07.
  12. Alan B. Krueger, 1999. "Experimental Estimates Of Education Production Functions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 497-532, May.
  13. Victor Lavy & Olmo Silva & Felix Weinhardt, 2009. "The Good, the Bad and the Average: Evidence on the Scale and Nature of Ability Peer Effects in Schools," NBER Working Papers 15600, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Aaron Sojourner, . "Inference on Peer Effects with Missing Peer Data: Evidence from Project STAR," Working Papers 0109, Human Resources and Labor Studies, University of Minnesota (Twin Cities Campus).
  15. Fredriksson, Peter & Öckert, Björn, 2006. "Is early learning really more productive? The effect of school starting age on school and labor market performance," Working Paper Series 2006:12, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  16. C. Kirabo Jackson, 2010. "Do Students Benefit from Attending Better Schools? Evidence from Rule-based Student Assignments in Trinidad and Tobago," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(549), pages 1399-1429, December.
  17. James J. Heckman & Jeffrey A. Smith, 1995. "Assessing the Case for Social Experiments," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 85-110, Spring.
  18. David Sims, 2008. "A strategic response to class size reduction: Combination classes and student achievement in California," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(3), pages 457-478.
  19. Duflo, Esther & Dupas, Pascaline & Kremer, Michael, 2008. "Peer Effects, Teacher Incentives, and the Impact of Tracking: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Kenya," CEPR Discussion Papers 7043, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  20. Leuven, Edwin & Lindahl, Mikael & Oosterbeek, Hessel & Webbink, Dinand, 2006. "Expanding Schooling Opportunities for 4-Year-Olds," IZA Discussion Papers 2434, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  21. Scott E. Carrell & Bruce I. Sacerdote & James E. West, 2011. "From Natural Variation to Optimal Policy? The Lucas Critique Meets Peer Effects," NBER Working Papers 16865, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Jesse Rothstein, 2010. "Teacher Quality in Educational Production: Tracking, Decay, and Student Achievement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(1), pages 175-214, February.
  23. Kelly Bedard & Elizabeth Dhuey, 2006. "The Persistence of Early Childhood Maturity: International Evidence of Long-Run Age Effects," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1437-1472, November.
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