The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Academic Achievement of Elementary and Junior High School Students: Analysis using administrative data from Amagasaki City

Author Name ASAKAWA Shinsuke (Saga University / Osaka University) / OHTAKE Fumio (Faculty Fellow, RIETI) / SANO Shinpei (Kobe University)
Creation Date/NO. September 2023 23-E-066
Research Project Implementing Evidence-Based Policy Making in Japan
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This study examines the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on academic achievements in mathematics and Japanese language among public elementary and junior high school students from grades 1 to 8. Using data from the Amagasaki City Survey of Academic Achievement and Life Conditions from 2018 to 2021, this study compares the growth in the academic achievement of COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 cohorts 7 and 19 months after the school closure using the difference-in-differences method. The findings indicate that the negative impact of the pandemic on academic achievement was more pronounced in math compared to Japanese language, both at 7 months and 19 months after the closure. Math scores showed a considerable decline of 0.129 standard deviations (SD) and 0.251 SD at 7 and 19 months after the closure, respectively, while Japanese language scores only worsened slightly by 0.006 SD and 0.062 SD during the same periods. Further, the negative effects on Japanese language scores were more significant in younger grades, whereas math scores were consistently affected across all grades.