Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy

No 2007:26: Resources and student achievement – evidence from a Swedish policy reform

Peter Fredriksson () and Björn Öckert ()
Additional contact information
Peter Fredriksson: Nationalekonomiska institutionen, Postal: Stockholms universitet, Nationalekonomiska institutionen, 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
Björn Öckert: IFAU - Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation, Postal: P O Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden

Abstract: This paper utilizes a policy change to estimate the effect of teacher density on student performance. We find that an increase in teacher density has a positive effect on student achievement. The baseline estimate – obtained by using the grade point average as the outcome variable – implies that resource increases corresponding to the class-size reduction in the STAR-experiment (i.e., a reduction of 7 students) improves performance by 2.6 percentile ranks (or 0.08 standard deviations). When we use test score data for men, potentially a more objective measure of student performance, the effect of resources appears to be twice the size of the baseline estimate.

Keywords: Student performance; teacher/student ratio; policy reform; differences-in-differences

JEL-codes: I21; I28; J24

26 pages, October 19, 2007

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