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For whom the reductions count: A quantile regression analysis of class size and peer effects on scholastic achievement

Abstract.

In this paper the controversial educational topic of class size reduction is addressed. Controlling for a large number of observable characteristics and potential endogeneity in the class size variable, an educational production function is estimated using a quantile regression technique. The “conventional wisdom” that class size reduction is a viable means to increase scholastic achievement is discounted. Rather, the results point towards a far stronger peer effect through which class size reduction may play an important role. Due to heterogeneity in the newly identified peer effect, class size reduction is shown to be a potentially regressive policy measure.

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Levin, J. For whom the reductions count: A quantile regression analysis of class size and peer effects on scholastic achievement. Empirical Economics 26, 221–246 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1007/s001810000054

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  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s001810000054

  • JEL classification: I21
  • Key words: Quantile regression
  • class size
  • educational production
  • educational equity.