Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

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

No 2008:21: The effects of mixed-age classes in Sweden

Elly-Ann Johansson () and Erica Lindahl ()
Additional contact information
Elly-Ann Johansson: Department of Economics, Uppsala University, Postal: P O Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Erica Lindahl: Department of Economics, Uppsala University, Postal: P O Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden

Abstract: Mixed-aged classes (MA-classes) are a common phenomenon around the world. In Sweden, these types of classes increased rapidly during the 1980:s and 1990:s. But the scientific evidence of the benefits of MA-classes is not convincing. In this paper, we estimate the effect of attending an MA-class during grades 4–6 on students’ cognitive skills. Using a unique survey with information on students, parents and teachers, we are able to control for many factors that could otherwise bias the results. We find a negative effect on the short-run cognitive skills, as measured by grade 6 cognitive tests.

Keywords: Education; mixed-age classes; multi-grade classes

JEL-codes: I21; J13

30 pages, October 6, 2008

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