Maimonides' Rule Redux

Joshua D. Angrist, Victor Lavy, Jetson Leder-Luis, Adi Shany

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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 disappearance of Israeli class size
effects since the early 1990s. (JEL C38, H52, I21, I28)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-324
Number of pages16
JournalAmerican Economic Review: Insights
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2019


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