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Does examination hell pay off ? A cost-benefit analysis of "ronin" and college education in Japan

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  • Ono, Hiroshi

Abstract

College-bound students in Japan undergo a process of intense preparation known as examination hell. An extreme manifestation of examination hell is the ronin phenomenon. Typically thirty percent of students choose the ronin option under which they spend years in addition to high school preparing for the next yearfs college entrance examinations. Using the mean scores of the entrance examinations as a measure of college quality, I find that college quality significantly improves the internal rate of return (IRR) to college education among the sample of male graduates in Japan. Ronin increases earnings indirectly by improving the quality of the college attended. I also show that the IRR with respect to ronin is one of diminishing returns. On average, the number of ronin years which maximizes the IRR is found to be somewhere between one and two years.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics of Education Review.

Volume (Year): 26 (2007)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 271-284

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:26:y:2007:i:3:p:271-284

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  1. Gronau, Reuben, 1974. "Wage Comparisons-A Selectivity Bias," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1119-43, Nov.-Dec..
  2. Jacob Mincer & Yoshio Higuchi, 1987. "Wage Structures and Labor Turnover in the U.S. and in Japan," NBER Working Papers 2306, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Robert J. Willis & Sherwin Rosen, 1978. "Education and Self-Selection," NBER Working Papers 0249, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Psacharopoulos, George, 1996. "Economics of education: A research agenda," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 339-344, October.
  5. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
  6. Yoshi-Fumi Nakata & Carl Mosk, 1987. "The Demand for College Education in Postwar Japan," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 22(3), pages 377-404.
  7. Hashimoto, Masanori & Raisian, John, 1985. "Employment Tenure and Earnings Profiles in Japan and the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 721-35, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Dang, Hai-Anh H., 2013. "Private tutoring in Vietnam : a review of current issues and its major correlates," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6618, The World Bank.
  2. Stefanie Hof, 2014. "Does Private Tutoring Work? The Effectiveness of Private Tutoring: A Nonparametric Bounds Analysis," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0096, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).
  3. Daiji Kawaguchi & Hiroshi Ono, 2013. "Educational Credentialism and Elite Formation in Japan: A Long-term Perspective," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series gd12-297, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  4. Zhang, Yu, 2013. "Does private tutoring improve students’ National College Entrance Exam performance?—A case study from Jinan, China," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 1-28.

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