Good or Bad? Short- versus Long-Term Effects of Multigrading on Child Achievement

Gianpaolo Barbetta, P Chuard-Keller, G Sorrenti, Gilberto Turati

Risultato della ricerca: Working paper


This paper studies the effect of multigrading—mixing children of different ages in the same classroom—on students’ short- versus long-term academic achievement in Italy. We cope with the endogeneity of multigrading (and class size) through an instrumental variable identification strategy based on a law that disciplines class composition. By relying on longitudinal data that follow a cohort of Italian students over their compulsory school career, we show that multigrading has a positive short-term effect on achievements. This effect fades away over time to become negative in the long run if students spend several years in a multigrade class. The analysis of mechanisms points to the fundamental role of teachers and suggests that no negative long-term effect arises when multigrade classes are taught by more experienced and motivated teachers. These results reconcile contrasting findings in the literature based on cross-sectional data and a short-term focus.
Lingua originaleEnglish
EditoreTinbergen Istitute Discussion Paper
Numero di pagine46
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2022


  • Child achievement
  • Multigrading
  • medium- and long-term effect


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