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Health and education during industrialization: Evidence from early twentieth century Japan

Kota Ogasawara

International Journal of Educational Development, 2018, vol. 61, issue C, 40-54

Abstract: By exploiting the detailed information available from the household surveys conducted in Tokyo after the First World War, this study investigates children's status in working-class households in Japan. Our analysis suggests that parental health shocks reduced the probability of girls attending secondary school by 29% in the case of maternal illness and 32% in the case of paternal illness. The sizable effect of parental health shocks on the schooling of girls confirms the gender bias in educational investment in urban working-class households in the early 1920s in Japan. Our finding also sheds light on the possibility that general improvements in parental health improved the educational attainment of their daughters. Although less than conclusive, part of human capital accumulation through educational investment in the prewar period, which accelerated postwar sustainable economic growth, might have been accelerated by improvements in the health status of people in the early 20th century.

Keywords: Child education; Gender disparities; Historical data; Human capital; Intra-household resource allocation; Parental health (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D13 I15 J16 J22 N35 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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