The Hidden Curriculum and Social Preferences

Author Name ITO Takahiro  (Kobe University) /KUBOTA Kohei  (Yamagata University) /OHTAKE Fumio  (Osaka University)
Creation Date/NO. May 2014 14-E-024
Research Project Reform of Labor Market Institutions
Download / Links


This paper investigates the effects of the informal school curriculum (hidden curriculum) on subsequent preference formation. The estimation results using Japanese data show that the hidden curriculum at public elementary schools varies widely from place to place, and is associated with preference formation. In particular, those who have experienced "participatory and cooperative learning" practices are more likely to be altruistic, cooperative, reciprocal, and have national pride. In contrast, the influence of educational practices emphasizing "anti-competition" is negatively associated with these attributes. Robustness checks also show that our estimates are less likely to be biased due to omitted variables or reverse causality. These findings imply that elementary school education, as a place for early socialization, plays a role in the formation of social preferences.