Effects of class-size reduction on cognitive and non-cognitive skills

Hirotake Ito, Makiko Nakamuro, Shintaro Yamaguchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


We estimate the effects of class-size reduction by exploiting exogenous variation caused by Maimonides’ rule, which requires that the maximum class size is 40 students and that classes be split into two when 41 students are enrolled. Our data cover all fourth to ninth graders in 1064 public schools in an anonymous prefecture of Japan for three years. We find that the effects of class-size reduction on academic test scores are statistically and/or economically insignificant when school fixed effects are controlled. We find no evidence that small class size improves non-cognitive skills.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100977
JournalJapan and The World Economy
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Mar


  • Longitudinal data
  • Maimonides' rule
  • Regression discontinuity design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Political Science and International Relations


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