Classroom Grade Composition and Pupil Achievement

32 Pages Posted: 4 Sep 2011

See all articles by Edwin Leuven

Edwin Leuven

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Marte Rønning

Norwegian University of Science and Technology - Department of Economics

Abstract

This paper exploits discontinuous grade mixing rules in Norwegian junior high schools to estimate how classroom grade composition affects pupil achievement. Pupils in mixed grade classrooms are found to outperform pupils in single grade classrooms on high stake central exit tests and teacher set and graded tests. This effect is driven by pupils benefiting from sharing the classroom with more mature peers from higher grades. The presence of lower grade peers is detrimental for achievement. Pupils can therefore benefit from de-tracking by grade, but the effects depend crucially on how the classroom is balanced in terms of lower and higher grades. These results reconcile the contradictory findings in the literature.

Keywords: educational production, combination classes, class size, peer effects

JEL Classification: I2

Suggested Citation

Leuven, Edwin and Rønning, Marte, Classroom Grade Composition and Pupil Achievement. IZA Discussion Paper No. 5922, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1921973

Edwin Leuven (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB) ( email )

Roetersstraat 11
Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands
+31 20 525 5241 (Phone)
+31 20 525 4310 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 7 / 9
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Marte Rønning

Norwegian University of Science and Technology - Department of Economics ( email )

Høgskoleringen
Trondheim NO-7491, 7491
Norway

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