NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Disruption, Achievement and the Heterogeneous Benefits of Smaller Classes

Graham J. McKee, Steven G. Rivkin, Katharine R.E. Sims

NBER Working Paper No. 15812
Issued in March 2010
NBER Program(s):   CH   ED

With few exceptions, empirical research investigating the possibility of heterogeneous benefits of class size reduction lacks a conceptual framework about specific dimensions of potential heterogeneity. In this paper we develop a model of education production that incorporates disruption and student achievement and illustrates how these underlying sources of variation may drive heterogeneity in the benefits of class size reductions. We test for results consistent with this model using the Tennessee STAR data. The estimates show that students in higher poverty schools and with greater learning aptitude realize larger benefits from smaller classes.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w15812

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