Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Evidence on Class size effects at university

The econometric evidence on the effects of class size on academic achievement is mostly at 2nd or 3rd level. The paper below considers the case of Italian universities:

Effects of Class Size on Achievement of College Students
De Paola, Maria & Scoppa, Vincenzo
In this paper we investigate the effects of class size on the achievements of a sample of college students enrolled at a middle-sized Italian public university. To estimate the effects of class size we exploit the exogenous variations in class size determined by a maximum class size rule introduced by the 2001 Italian university reform. From our analysis it emerges that large teaching classes produce negative effects on student performance measured both in terms of the grades obtained in exams and the probability of passing exams. These results are robust to the use of a matching estimator.

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