Expansion of Schooling Years and Changes in Enrollment Rates: Reform of compulsory education in Japan

Author Name OKANIWA Fusae (Yamagata University) / IBUKA Yoko (Keio University) / MARUYAMA Shiko (Jinan University)
Creation Date/NO. January 2024 24-J-001
Research Project Economic Analysis on the problem of an aging population and a declining birthrate in China and Japan in the COVID-19 pandemic
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How did the 1947 reform of the compulsory education system in Japan change the school enrollment rate of 15-year-old children? This reform is important in the history of the postwar education system in Japan. However, it is unclear whether this reform increased the actual years of education received. We used the Annual Report of the Ministry of Education and Population Estimates to calculate the enrollment rates of 15-year-old children, matching school classifications and grades before and after the reform. The results showed that the enrollment rate for 15-year-old children increased to 95% after the reform, indicating that the 9-year compulsory education system had been established. It was also found that 90% of children had already received eight years of education before the reform. The increase in the years of education was modest, and its impact on human capital accumulation may not have been significant.