ERIC Number: ED458065
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Oct
Identifying Class Size Effects in Developing Countries: Evidence from Rural Schools in Bolivia.
Although great interest surrounds class size as a policy instrument, inferences on its effects are controversial. Recent work highlights a particular way to consider the endogeneity issues that affect this variable: class size is often correlated with enrollment, which in turn may be related to socioeconomic status (SES). This paper shows why such correlations may be prevalent in developing countries and that they are indeed a relevant feature in Bolivia. These correlations may partially account for why conventional cross-sectional analyses suggest that larger classes have no effect on or even may raise test scores. The endogeneity issues were addressed through two empirical strategies emerging from institutional arrangements that determine pupil/teacher ratios in rural Bolivia. The first approach exploits a teacher allocation practice that allows schools having classes with more than 30 students to apply for an additional teacher. In these circumstances, enrollment and class size are not "smoothly" related, and their effects may be disentangled. The second strategy considers only remote rural schools with less than 30 students and a single class per grade. In such cases, the enrollment/SES correlations that cause bias are less significant. Analyses focused on grade 3 data. Results of all variations of the research strategies suggest that class size has a negative, significant impact on standardized test scores. (Contains 29 references and 18 statistical figures and data tables.) (SV)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Class Size, Elementary Schools, Enrollment, Foreign Countries, Grade 3, Primary Education, Rural Schools, Small Schools, Socioeconomic Influences, Socioeconomic Status
For full text: http://econ.worldbank.org/view.php?topic=10&type=5&id=2597.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: World Bank, Washington, DC.
Identifiers - Location: Bolivia