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Class Size in Early Grades, Student Grit and Later School Outcomes

Jana Gross (), Simone Balestra () and Uschi Backes-Gellner
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Jana Gross: ETH Zurich
Simone Balestra: University of St. Gallen

No 129, Economics of Education Working Paper Series from University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW)

Abstract: The increasing recognition of non-cognitive skills in economics has led many researchers to investigate how educational practices enhance these skills. In this paper, we focus on the non-cognitive skill known as 'grit', and we study the causal relation between class size and grit. Using data from follow-up surveys of Project STAR, we show that fourth-grade pupils who experienced small classes during early grades are 0.12 standard deviations higher in grit than their peers in regular classes. We also show that grit matters, because nearly half of the effect of smaller classes on test scores operates through grit. The effects of grit are far-reaching: students with higher grit have better grades at the end of compulsory schooling, are more likely to graduate from high school on time and are more likely to take a college entrance exam.

Keywords: class size; grit; non-cognitive skills (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I21 J13 J24 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu and nep-ure
Date: 2017-06, Revised 2018-09
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:iso:educat:0129

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