Effects of Class-Size Reduction on Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Skills

Author Name ITO Hirotake (Keio University) / NAKAMURO Makiko (Keio University) / YAMAGUCHI Shintaro (University of Tokyo)
Creation Date/NO. May 2019 19-E-036
Research Project Research on the Improvement in Resource Allocation and Productivity among the Healthcare and Education Service Industries
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We estimate the effects of class-size reduction by exploiting exogenous variation caused by Maimonides' rule, which requires that the maximum class size be 40 students and classes be split when 41 or more students are enrolled. Our data cover all fourth to ninth graders in 1,064 public schools in an anonymous prefecture for three years. We find that the effects of class-size reduction on academic test scores are small on average, but slightly stronger for students not going to a private tutoring school. We find no evidence that small class size improves non-cognitive skills. Our substantive conclusion does not change when controlling for school fixed effects.

Published: Ito, Hirotake, Makiko Nakamuro, and Shintaro Yamaguchi, 2020. "Effects of class-size reduction on cognitive and non-cognitive skills," Japan & The World Economy, Vol. 53, 100977.