RIETI Report December 2020

How Has the COVID-19 Pandemic Affected Education Inequality?

The effect of the measures to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic on childhood education has been a topic of much interest, but as with many topics relating to the new normal, non-medical empirical research is still scant. In this column, consulting fellow Yohei KOBAYASHI and Masaya NISHIHATA of Mitsubishi UFJ Research and Consulting examine the relationship between household income, composition, study time and academic achievement before and during the COVID-19 pandemic measures. How do school closures affect the children? This column examines the results of a survey of 2000 parents, with important implications for education policy.

This month's featured article

How Has the COVID-19 Pandemic Affected Education Inequality?

KOBAYASHI YoheiConsulting fellow, RIETI

NISHIHATA MasayaMitsubishi UFJ Research and Consulting Co., Ltd.

As a result of the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19 pandemic), elementary, junior high and senior high schools in various regions across Japan were temporarily closed in March 2020 and thereafter. Many schools were unable to make sufficient preparations for the temporary closure, and as a result, the education of the children was largely left to families. As home learning depends significantly on the family environment, education inequality may have increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This paper examines how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected inequality in child education based on an independent online questionnaire survey of 2,000 parents with children in elementary to senior high schools immediately after the state of emergency declaration was lifted nationwide (June 8 to 12, 2020).

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Recent articles on RIETI's website

"Japanese Companies Remaining in Long-term Stagnation Conditions for Post-COVID-19 Recovery"
by HOSONO Kaoru (Faculty Fellow, RIETI)

"Health Tourism in Japan: Evidence-based Hot Spring Healing"
by SEKIGUCHI Yoichi (Senior fellow, RIETI)

"Establish Numerical Targets in Tackling COVID-19"
by KOBAYASHI Keiichiro (Faculty Fellow, RIETI)

"Keen Eyes for Economic Trends: Why the Special Account for Post-COVID-19 Crisis Reconstruction should be Made"
by SATO Motohiro (Faculty Fellow, RIETI)

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