Access to and Demand for Online School Education during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Japan
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced schools around the world to close, and Japanese schools were no exception. While many previous studies have identified an inequality in the access to online school education based on family background, few studies have simultaneously examined the access to online education both at school and outside school, and no study has examined parents’ views about online school education, an important demand side factor. Using a panel dataset collected in May and December 2020, we examine the determinants of at-school and outside-school online experience. We observe that children in private schools and those from high-income households received more online education at school, and children from high-income households and those with a highly educated parent experienced more online education outside school. Further, we find that a greater increase of COVID-19 between May and December was associated with increased access to online education outside the school, especially for children in private schools and those with a highly educated parent, while we do not observe this trend in at-school online education. We also find that household income and parent’s high educational level are also associated with higher demand for at-school online education, while mothers being employed in regular contracts and fathers in non-regular contracts decreased this demand in the short term.