Maimonides Rule Redux
Joshua D. Angrist
- American Economic Review: Insights (Forthcoming)
We use Maimonides Rule as an instrument for class size in large Israeli samples from 2002–2011. In contrast with Angrist and Lavy (1999), newer estimates show no evidence of class size effects. The new data also reveal enrollment manipulation near Maimonides cutoffs. A modified rule that uses birthdays to impute enrollment circumvents manipulation while still generating precisely estimated zeros. In both old and new data, Maimonides Rule is unrelated to socioeconomic characteristics conditional on a few controls. Enrollment manipulation therefore appears to be innocuous. We briefly discuss possible explanations for the change in class size effects since the early 1990s.
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