IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/zbw/ifwkwp/1099.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Class-Size Effects in School Systems Around the World: Evidence from Between-Grade Variation in TIMSS

Author

Listed:
  • West, Martin R.
  • Wößmann, Ludger

Abstract

We employ a combination of school fixed effects and IV estimation to estimate the effect of class size on student performance in 18 countries. Using the random part of the class-size variation between two adjacent grades within individual schools allows us to identify causal class-size effects. Conventional estimates of class-size effects are shown to be severely biased in most school systems by within- and between-school sorting of students. Differences in our estimates across countries suggest that it is misleading to generalize results from one school system to others. While we find sizable beneficial effects of smaller classes in Greece and Iceland, the possibility of even small effects is rejected in Japan and Singapore. In 11 countries, we rule out large class-size effects. The existence of class-size effects, and the lack thereof, in different school systems appears to be related to the relative quality of the teaching force.

Suggested Citation

  • West, Martin R. & Wößmann, Ludger, 2002. "Class-Size Effects in School Systems Around the World: Evidence from Between-Grade Variation in TIMSS," Kiel Working Papers 1099, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwkwp:1099
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/17754/1/kap1099.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. repec:pri:crcwel:447.pdf is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Alan B. Krueger, 1999. "Experimental Estimates of Education Production Functions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(2), pages 497-532.
    3. Jong–Wha Lee & Robert J. Barro, 2001. "Schooling Quality in a Cross–Section of Countries," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(272), pages 465-488, November.
    4. Alan Krueger, 2000. "Economic Considerations and Class Size," Working Papers 826, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    5. Anne Case & Angus Deaton, 1999. "School Inputs and Educational Outcomes in South Africa," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 1047-1084.
    6. repec:pri:crcwel:447 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Lee, Jong-Wha & Barro, Robert J, 2001. "Schooling Quality in a Cross-Section of Countries," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(272), pages 465-488, November.
    8. Caroline M. Hoxby, 2000. "The Effects of Class Size on Student Achievement: New Evidence from Population Variation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1239-1285.
    9. Ronald Ehrenberg & Dominic Brewer, 1993. "Did Teachers' Race and Verbal Ability Matter in the 1960's? Coleman Revisited," NBER Working Papers 4293, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Hanushek, Eric A., 2006. "School Resources," Handbook of the Economics of Education, in: Erik Hanushek & F. Welch (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Education, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 14, pages 865-908, Elsevier.
    11. Strauss, Robert P. & Sawyer, Elizabeth A., 1986. "Some new evidence on teacher and student competencies," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 41-48, February.
    12. Stock, James H & Wright, Jonathan H & Yogo, Motohiro, 2002. "A Survey of Weak Instruments and Weak Identification in Generalized Method of Moments," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(4), pages 518-529, October.
    13. 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.
    14. Krueger, Alan B & Whitmore, Diane M, 2001. "The Effect of Attending a Small Class in the Early Grades on College-Test Taking and Middle School Test Results: Evidence from Project STAR," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(468), pages 1-28, January.
    15. Moulton, Brent R., 1986. "Random group effects and the precision of regression estimates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 385-397, August.
    16. Hanushek, Eric A, 1986. "The Economics of Schooling: Production and Efficiency in Public Schools," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 24(3), pages 1141-1177, September.
    17. Alan B. Krueger, 2003. "Economic Considerations and Class Size," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages 34-63, February.
    18. Hanushek, Eric A. & Luque, Javier A., 2003. "Efficiency and equity in schools around the world," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 481-502, October.
    19. Ludger Wößmann, 2003. "Schooling Resources, Educational Institutions and Student Performance: the International Evidence," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 65(2), pages 117-170, May.
    20. Wooldridge, Jeffrey M., 2001. "Asymptotic Properties Of Weighted M-Estimators For Standard Stratified Samples," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(2), pages 451-470, April.
    21. Bonesronning, Hans & Falch, Torberg & Strom, Bjarne, 2005. "Teacher sorting, teacher quality, and student composition," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 457-483, February.
    22. Berrara, A., 1989. "The Interactive Effects Of Mother'S Schooling And Unsupplemented Breastfeeding On Child Health," Papers 572, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
    23. Thomas J. Kane & Douglas O. Staiger, 2001. "Improving School Accountability Measures," NBER Working Papers 8156, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    24. repec:fth:prinin:447 is not listed on IDEAS
    25. Boozer, Michael & Rouse, Cecilia, 2001. "Intraschool Variation in Class Size: Patterns and Implications," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 163-189, July.
    26. Akerhielm, Karen, 1995. "Does class size matter?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 229-241, September.
    27. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. West, Martin R. & Woessmann, Ludger, 2006. "Which school systems sort weaker students into smaller classes? International evidence," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 944-968, December.
    2. Margaret Stevens & Kathryn Graddy, 2003. "The Impact of School Inputs on Student Performance: An Empirical Study of Private Schools in the United Kingdom," Economics Series Working Papers 146, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    3. Graddy, Kathryn & Stevens, Margaret, 2003. "The Impact of School Inputs on Student Performance: An Empirical Study of Private Schools in the UK," CEPR Discussion Papers 3776, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. 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.
    5. Ludger Wößmann, 2005. "Educational Production in East Asia: The Impact of Family Background and Schooling Policies on Student Performance," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 6(3), pages 331-353, August.
    6. Ammermuller, Andreas & Heijke, Hans & Wo[ss]mann, Ludger, 2005. "Schooling quality in Eastern Europe: Educational production during transition," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 579-599, October.
    7. Edwin Leuven & Hessel Oosterbeek & Marte Rønning, 2008. "Quasi‐experimental Estimates of the Effect of Class Size on Achievement in Norway," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 110(4), pages 663-693, December.
    8. Lisa Barrow & Cecilia Elena Rouse, 2005. "Causality, causality, causality: the view of education inputs and outputs from economics," Working Paper Series WP-05-15, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    9. Ma, Lingjie & Koenker, Roger, 2006. "Quantile regression methods for recursive structural equation models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 134(2), pages 471-506, October.
    10. Cohen-Zada, Danny & Gradstein, Mark & Reuven, Ehud, 2013. "Allocation of students in public schools: Theory and new evidence," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 96-106.
    11. Hideo Akabayashi & Ryosuke Nakamura, 2014. "Can Small Class Policy Close the Gap? An Empirical Analysis of Class Size Effects in Japan," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 65(3), pages 253-281, September.
    12. Ludger Wößmann, 2003. "Schooling Resources, Educational Institutions and Student Performance: the International Evidence," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 65(2), pages 117-170, May.
    13. Gundlach, Erich & Wößmann, Ludger, . "Bildungsressourcen, Bildungsinstitutionen und Bildungsqualität: Makroökonomische Relevanz und mikroökonomische Evidenz," Chapters in Economics,, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    14. Gilpin, Gregory A., 2012. "Teacher salaries and teacher aptitude: An analysis using quantile regressions," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 15-29.
    15. Simone Dobbelsteen & Jesse Levin & Hessel Oosterbeek, 2002. "The causal effect of class size on scholastic achievement: distinguishing the pure class size effect from the effect of changes in class composition," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 64(1), pages 17-38, February.
    16. Maria De Paola & Michela Ponzo & Vincenzo Scoppa, 2013. "Class size effects on student achievement: heterogeneity across abilities and fields," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(2), pages 135-153, March.
    17. Christopher Jepsen, 2015. "Class size: Does it matter for student achievement?," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 190-190, September.
    18. Hægeland, Torbjørn & Raaum, Oddbjørn & Salvanes, Kjell G., 2012. "Pennies from heaven? Using exogenous tax variation to identify effects of school resources on pupil achievement," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 601-614.
    19. Wößmann, Ludger, 2001. "New Evidence on the Missing Resource-Performance Link in Education," Kiel Working Papers 1051, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    20. Gary-Bobo, Robert J. & Mahjoub, Mohamed Badrane, 2006. "Estimation of Class-Size Effects, Using 'Maimonides' Rule': The Case of French Junior High Schools," CEPR Discussion Papers 5754, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    educational production; class size; student sorting; school fixed effects; instrumental variables; TIMSS;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwkwp:1099. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/iwkiede.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.