Early-Years Multi-Grade Classes and Pupil Attainment

39 Pages Posted: 4 Sep 2021 Last revised: 19 May 2022

See all articles by Daniel Borbely

Daniel Borbely

University of Dundee

Markus Gehrsitz

University of Strathclyde; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Stuart G. McIntyre

University of Strathclyde

Gennaro Rossi

University of Strathclyde

Graeme Roy

University of Glasgow

Abstract

We study the effect of exposure to older, more experienced classroom peers resulting from the widespread use of multi-grade classes in Scottish primary schools. For identification, we exploit that a class-planning algorithm quasi-randomly assigns groups of pupils to multi-grade classes. We find that school-starters benefit from exposure to second-graders in measures of numeracy and literacy. We find no evidence that these gains are driven by smaller class sizes or more parental input. While short-lived, these benefits accrue independent of socioeconomic background, to boys and girls alike, and do not come at the expense of older peers from the preceding cohort.

Keywords: multi-grade classes, peer effects, class-size, cognitive skills

JEL Classification: C36, H52, I21, I26, I28, J24

Suggested Citation

Borbely, Daniel and Gehrsitz, Markus and McIntyre, Stuart G. and Rossi, Gennaro and Roy, Graeme, Early-Years Multi-Grade Classes and Pupil Attainment. IZA Discussion Paper No. 14678, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3917293

Daniel Borbely (Contact Author)

University of Dundee

Markus Gehrsitz

University of Strathclyde ( email )

Department of Economics
199 Cathedral St
Glasgow, G4 0QU
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.markusgehrsitz.com

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

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

Stuart G. McIntyre

University of Strathclyde

16 Richmond Street
Glasgow 1XQ, G1 1XQ
United Kingdom

Gennaro Rossi

University of Strathclyde

16 Richmond Street
Glasgow 1XQ, G1 1XQ
United Kingdom

Graeme Roy

University of Glasgow ( email )

Adam Smith Business School
Glasgow, Scotland G12 8LE
United Kingdom

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