EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Do Class Size Reductions Protect Students from Infectious Disease? Lessons for COVID-19 Policy from Flu Epidemic in Tokyo Metropolitan Area

Masato Oikawa (), Ryuichi Tanaka, Shun-ichiro Bessho () and Haruko Noguchi ()
Additional contact information
Shun-ichiro Bessho: University of Tokyo

No 13432, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: We evaluate the causal effect of class size (i.e., number of students in a classroom) on incidence of class closure due to flu epidemic in 2015, 2016, and 2017, applying an instrumental variable method with the Maimonides rule to administrative data of public primary and middle school students in one of the largest municipalities within the City of Tokyo Metropolitan Area. Given the classroom area of 63m2 set by regulation in Japan, class size reduction improves social distancing among students in a classroom. We find that class size reduction is effective to reduce class closure due to flu: one unit reduction of class size decreases class closure by about 5%; and forming small classes with 27 students at most, satisfying the social distancing of 1.5 m recommended to prevent droplet infection including influenza and COVID-19, reduces class closure by about 90%. In addition, we find that the older are students, the larger are the effects of class size reduction. Our findings provide supportive evidence for the effectiveness of social distancing policy in primary and middle schools to protect students from droplet infectious disease including COVID-19.

Keywords: class size; class closure; students health; influenza(flu) epidemic; lesson for COVID-19; COVID-19 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I18 I21 I28 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 32 pages
Date: 2020-07
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hea and nep-ure
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://ftp.iza.org/dp13432.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:iza:izadps:dp13432

Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA) IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Holger Hinte ().

 
Page updated 2021-01-25
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp13432