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Teacher experience and the class size effect - experimental evidence

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  • Mueller, Steffen

Abstract

We analyze teacher experience as a moderating factor for the effect of class size reduction on student achievement in the early grades using data from the Tennessee STAR experiment with random assignment of teachers and students to classes of different size. The analysis is motivated by the high costs of class size reductions and the need to identify the circumstances under which this investment is most rewarding. We find a class size effect only for senior teachers. The effect is most pronounced for higher and average-performing students. We further show that senior teachers outperform rookies only in small classes. The results have straightforward policy implications. Interestingly, the class size effect is most likely due to a higher quality of instruction in small classes and not due to less disruptions.

Suggested Citation

  • Mueller, Steffen, 2011. "Teacher experience and the class size effect - experimental evidence," FAU Discussion Papers in Economics 07/2011, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Institute for Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:iwqwdp:072011
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    1. repec:eee:labeco:v:47:y:2017:i:c:p:15-34 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:bla:obuest:v:79:y:2017:i:5:p:654-688 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Riphahn & Caroline Schwientek, 2015. "What drives the reversal of the gender education gap? Evidence from Germany," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(53), pages 5748-5775, November.
    4. Peters, Jörg & Langbein, Jörg & Roberts, Gareth, 2016. "Policy evaluation, randomized controlled trials, and external validity—A systematic review," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 147(C), pages 51-54.
    5. Wagner, Valentin & Riener, Gerhard, 2015. "Peers or parents? On non-monetary incentives in schools," DICE Discussion Papers 203, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    6. Huebener, Mathias & Kuger, Susanne & Marcus, Jan, 2017. "Increased instruction hours and the widening gap in student performance," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 15-34.
    7. Andrietti, Vincenzo & Su, Xuejuan, 2016. "Education Curriculum and Student Achievement: Theory and Evidence," Working Papers 2016-12, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.
    8. Wagner, Valentin, 2016. "Seeking risk or answering smart? Framing in elementary schools," DICE Discussion Papers 227, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    9. Wagner, Valentin, 2016. "Seeking Risk or Answering Smart? Experimental Evidence on Framing Effects in Elementary Schools," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145678, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    10. Sander Gerritsen & Erik Plug & Dinand Webbink, 2014. "Teacher quality and student achievement: Evidence from a Dutch sample of twins," CPB Discussion Paper 294, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    11. Millimet, Daniel L. & McDonough, Ian K., 2013. "Dynamic Panel Data Models with Irregular Spacing: With Applications to Early Childhood Development," IZA Discussion Papers 7359, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Torberg Falch & Astrid Marie Jorde Sandsør & Bjarne Strøm, 2017. "Do Smaller Classes Always Improve Students’ Long-run Outcomes?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 79(5), pages 654-688, October.
    13. Graham McKee & Katharine Sims & Steven Rivkin, 2015. "Disruption, learning, and the heterogeneous benefits of smaller classes," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 48(3), pages 1267-1286, May.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    class size reduction; teacher experience; student achievement;

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods
    • J4 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets

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