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Impact of closing schools on mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic: Evidence using panel data from Japan

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  • YAMAMURA, Eiji
  • Tsutsui, Yoshiro

Abstract

The spread of the novel coronavirus disease caused schools in Japan to close to cope with the pandemic. In response to this, parents of students were obliged to care for their children during the daytime when they were usually at school. Does the increase in burden of childcare influence parents’ mental health? Based on short panel data from mid-March to mid-April 2020, we explored how school closures influenced the mental health of parents with school-aged children. Using the fixed effects model, we found that school closures lead to student’s mothers suffering from worse mental health than other females, while the fathers’ mental health did not differ from other males. This tendency was only observed for less educated mothers who had children attending primary school, but not those attending junior high school. The contribution of this paper is to show that school closures increased the inequality of mental health between genders and the educational background of parents.

Suggested Citation

  • YAMAMURA, Eiji & Tsutsui, Yoshiro, 2020. "Impact of closing schools on mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic: Evidence using panel data from Japan," MPRA Paper 105023, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:105023
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    Cited by:

    1. Eiji Yamamura & Yoshiro Tsutsui & Fumio Ohtake, 2023. "The Effect of Primary School Education on Preventive Behaviours during COVID-19 in Japan," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 15(11), pages 1-12, May.
    2. Pabilonia, Sabrina Wulff & Vernon, Victoria, 2022. "Who is Doing the Chores and Childcare in Dual-earner Couples during the COVID-19 Era of Working from Home?," GLO Discussion Paper Series 1056, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    3. Yamamura, Eiji & Tsutsui, Yoshiro, 2022. "How does the impact of the COVID-19 state of emergency change? An analysis of preventive behaviors and mental health using panel data in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 64(C).
    4. Lauren Hoehn-Velasco & Adan Silverio-Murillo & Jose Roberto Balmori de la Miyar & Jacob Penglase, 2022. "The impact of the COVID-19 recession on Mexican households: evidence from employment and time use for men, women, and children," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 763-797, September.
    5. Fukai, Taiyo & Ikeda, Masato & Kawaguchi, Daiji & Yamaguchi, Shintaro, 2021. "COVID-19 and the Employment Gender Gap," IZA Discussion Papers 14711, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Shinsuke Asakawa & Fumio Ohtake, 2021. "Impact of Temporary School Closure Due to COVID-19 on the Academic Achievement of Elementary School Students," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 21-14, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    COVID-19; mental health; children; school closure; primary school; gender difference;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I13 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Insurance, Public and Private
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General

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