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Fewer school days, more inequality

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  • Kawaguchi, Daiji

Abstract

This paper examines how the intensity of compulsory education affects the time use and academic achievement of children from different socioeconomic backgrounds. The impact is identified off the school-day reduction of Japan in 2002 that resulted when all Saturdays were set as public-school holidays. An analysis of time diaries and test scores reveals that the socioeconomic gradient of 9th graders’ study time becomes 110% steeper and the socioeconomic gradient of 10th graders’ reading test scores becomes 20% steeper after the school-day reduction. Intensive compulsory education contributes to equalizing the academic performance of children from different socioeconomic backgrounds, at least for some subjects.

Suggested Citation

  • Kawaguchi, Daiji, 2016. "Fewer school days, more inequality," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 35-52.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jjieco:v:39:y:2016:i:c:p:35-52
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jjie.2016.01.001
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:labeco:v:47:y:2017:i:c:p:15-34 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Michio Naoi & Hideo Akabayashi & Ryosuke Nakamura & Kayo Nozaki & Shinpei Sano & Wataru Senoh & Chizuru Shikishima, 2017. "Causal Effects of Family Income on Child Outcomes and Educational Spending: Evidence from a Child Allowance Policy Reform in Japan," Keio-IES Discussion Paper Series 2017-026, Institute for Economics Studies, Keio University.
    3. Huebener, Mathias & Kuger, Susanne & Marcus, Jan, 2017. "Increased instruction hours and the widening gap in student performance," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 15-34.
    4. Kubota, Kohei, 2016. "Effects of Japanese compulsory educational reforms on household educational expenditure," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 47-60.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Compulsory education; Inequality; Socioeconomic gradient; Five-day school week;

    JEL classification:

    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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