Inside the Black Box of Class Size: Mechanisms, Behavioral Responses, and Social Background
Björn Öckert and
Hessel Oosterbeek ()
No 8019, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)
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: heterogenous effects; social background; class size; regression discontinuity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I21 I28 J24 C31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu and nep-ure
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (4) Track citations by RSS feed
Published as 'Parental Responses to Public Investments in Children: Evidence from a Maximum Class Size Rule' in: Journal of Human Resources, 2016, 51(4), 832-868.
Downloads: (external link)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8019
Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA) IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Holger Hinte ().