Does class-size reduction close the achievement gap?
Evidence from TIMSS 2011
Policies about reducing class size have been implemented in the US and Europe in the past decades. Only a few studies have discussed the effects of class size at different levels of student achievement, and their findings have been mixed. We employ quantile regression analysis, coupled with instrumental variables, to examine the causal effects of class size on 4th-grade mathematics achievement at various quantiles. We use data from 14 European countries from the 2011 sample of the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). Overall, there are no systematic patterns of class-size effects across quantiles. Class-size effects are generally non-significant and uniform at different achievement levels, which suggest that in most European countries class-size reduction does not have an impact on student achievement and does not close the achievement gap. However, combined estimates across countries indicate that high achievers may benefit more from class-size reduction.