The More, the Better? The Impact of Instructional Time on Student Performance

23 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2016

See all articles by Alejandra Cattaneo

Alejandra Cattaneo

University of Zurich

Chantal Oggenfuss

Swiss Coordination Centre for Research in Education (SKBF)

Stefan C. Wolter

Swiss Coordination Centre for Research in Education (SKBF); University of Bern - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: March 17, 2016

Abstract

Although instruction time is an important and costly resource in education production, there is a remarkable scarcity of research examining the effectiveness of its use. We build on the work of Lavy (2015) using the variance of subject-specific instruction time within Switzerland to determine the causal impact of instruction time on student test scores, as measured by the international PISA test (2009). We extend the analyses in two ways and find that students must differ considerably in the time needed to learn. This difference is supported by our findings that the effectiveness of instructional time varies substantially between different school (ability) tracks and that additional instruction time significantly increases the within-school variance of subject-specific test scores.

Keywords: instruction time, PISA, fixed-effect models, tracking

JEL Classification: C210, I210, I250

Suggested Citation

Cattaneo, Alejandra and Oggenfuss, Chantal and Wolter, Stefan C., The More, the Better? The Impact of Instructional Time on Student Performance (March 17, 2016). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 5813. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2766221

Alejandra Cattaneo

University of Zurich ( email )

Rämistrasse 71
Zürich, CH-8006
Switzerland

Chantal Oggenfuss

Swiss Coordination Centre for Research in Education (SKBF)

CH - 5000 Aarau
Switzerland

Stefan C. Wolter (Contact Author)

Swiss Coordination Centre for Research in Education (SKBF) ( email )

CH - 5000 Aarau
Switzerland
+41 62 835 23 90 (Phone)
+41 62 835 23 99 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.skbf-csre.ch

University of Bern - Department of Economics ( email )

Gesellschaftstrasse 49
Bern, CH-3012
Switzerland
+41 31 631 40 95 (Phone)
+41 31 631 39 92 (Fax)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

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