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Economic Considerations and Class Size



This paper examines evidence on the effect of class size on student achievement. First, it is shown that results of quantitative summaries of the literature, such as Hanushek (1997), depend critically on whether studies are accorded equal weight. When studies are given equal weight, resources are systematically related to student achievement. When weights are in proportion to their number of estimates, resources and achievements are not systematically related. Second, a cost-benefit analysis of class size reduction is performed. Results of the Tennessee STAR class-size experiment suggest that the internal rate of return from reducing class size from 22 to 15 students is around 6%.