The effect of school class size on post-compulsory education : some cost benefit analysis

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Title: The effect of school class size on post-compulsory education : some cost benefit analysis
Authors: Bingley, Paul
Jensen, Vibeke
Walker, Ian
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Date: 8-Jun-2007
Abstract: This paper is concerned with the relationship between class size and the student outcome – length of time in post-compulsory schooling. Research on this topic has been problematic partly because omitted unobservables, like parents’ incomes and education levels, are likely to be correlated with class size. Two potential ways to resolve this problem are to exploit either experimental or instrumental variation. In both cases, the methods require that the variation in both class size and the outcome should not be contaminated by other unobservable factors that affect the outcome – like family background. An alternative approach, which we pursue here, is to take advantage of variation in class size between siblings which allows unobservable family effects to be differenced out. Our aim is to combine sibling differences with a fuzzy rule that determines class size to provide estimates of the effect of class size and use these to conduct an evaluation of the costs and benefits of a reduction in class sizes.
Funding Details: Her Majesty’s Treasury Evidence Based Policy Fund
Department for Education and Skills (Great Britain)
Department of Work and Pensions (Great Britain)
Department of Media, Culture and Sport (Great Britain)
Aarhus University Research Fund
Danish Social Science Research Council
Economic and Social Research Council
Type of material: Working Paper
Publisher: University College Dublin. Geary Institute
Series/Report no.: UCD Geary Institute Discussion Paper Series; WP/17/2007
Keywords: Class sizeRegression discontinuitySibling differences
Subject LCSH: Class size
Educational attainment
Brothers and sisters
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Language: en
Status of Item: Not peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Geary Institute Working Papers

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