Class Size and Class Heterogeneity

49 Pages Posted: 4 Oct 2010 Last revised: 30 Apr 2023

See all articles by Giacomo De Giorgi

Giacomo De Giorgi

University College London; NBER; Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Michele Pellizzari

University of Geneva - GSEM; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

William Woolston

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: September 2010

Abstract

We study how class size and class composition affect the academic and labor market performance of college students, two crucial policy questions given the secular increase in college enrollment. Our identification strategy relies on the random assignment of students to teaching classes. We find that a one standard deviation increase in class-size results in a 0.1 standard deviation deterioration of the average grade. Further, the effect is heterogeneous as it is stronger for males and lower income students. Also, the effects of class composition in terms of gender and ability appear to be inverse U-shaped. Finally, a reduction of 20 students (one standard deviation) in one's class size has a positive effect on monthly wages of about 80 Euros (115 USD)or 6% over the average.

Suggested Citation

De Giorgi, Giacomo and Pellizzari, Michele and Woolston, William, Class Size and Class Heterogeneity (September 2010). NBER Working Paper No. w16405, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1685692

Giacomo De Giorgi (Contact Author)

University College London ( email )

Gower Street
London
United Kingdom

NBER ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of New York ( email )

33 Liberty Street
New York, NY 10045
United States

Michele Pellizzari

University of Geneva - GSEM ( email )

102 Bd Carl-Vogt
Genève, CH - 1205
Switzerland

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

William Woolston

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

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