Inside the Black Box of Class Size: Mechanisms, Behavioral Responses, and Social Background

42 Pages Posted: 15 Mar 2014

See all articles by Peter Fredriksson

Peter Fredriksson

IZA Institute of Labor Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Uppsala University - Department of Economics

Bjorn Ockert

IFAU - Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation

Hessel Oosterbeek

University of Amsterdam - Research Institute in Economics & Econometrics (RESAM); Tinbergen Institute Amsterdam (TIA); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Abstract

Studies on the effect of class size on student achievement typically find that disadvantaged students benefit more from reduced class size than others. To better understand this differential impact, we analyze changes in the learning environment due to class size, and behavioral responses to class size among parents, schools, teachers and students. The variation in class size is induced by a maximum class size rule applying to upper primary schools in Sweden.We find that in response to an increase in class size: i) teachers seem to assign more responsibility to students; ii) low-income students find their teachers hard to follow when taught in full-class iii) high-income parents help their children more with homework; iv) parents are more likely to change schools; and v) other school inputs and student effort adjust very little. These findings help explain why we find that the negative effect of class size on achievement in our data is concentrated among low-income students.

Keywords: class size, social background, heterogenous effects, regression discontinuity

JEL Classification: I21, I28, J24, C31

Suggested Citation

Fredriksson, Peter and Ockert, Bjorn and Oosterbeek, Hessel, Inside the Black Box of Class Size: Mechanisms, Behavioral Responses, and Social Background. IZA Discussion Paper No. 8019, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2409541

Peter Fredriksson (Contact Author)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Uppsala University - Department of Economics ( email )

SE-75120 Uppsala
Sweden
+46 18 471 7079 (Phone)
+46 18 471 1478 (Fax)

Bjorn Ockert

IFAU - Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation ( email )

Box 513
751 20 Uppsala
Sweden

Hessel Oosterbeek

University of Amsterdam - Research Institute in Economics & Econometrics (RESAM) ( email )

Roetersstraat 11
Amsterdam
Netherlands
+31 20 525 4242 (Phone)
+31 20 525 5283 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.fee.uva.nl/scholar/oosterbeek/

Tinbergen Institute Amsterdam (TIA)

Burg. Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, 3062 PA
Netherlands

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

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

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
101
Abstract Views
638
rank
287,085
PlumX Metrics