Toward an International Comparison of Economic and Educational Mobility: Recent Findings from the Japan Child Panel Survey

Author: Hideo Akabayashi, Ryosuke Nakamura, Michio Naoi, Chizuru Shikishima
Date: 2015/9/29
No: DPDP2015-010
JEL Classification codes: D31, I24, J13
Language: English
[ Abstract ]
In past decades, income inequality has risen in most developed countries. There is growing interest among economists in international comparisons of economic and educational mobility. This is aided by the availability of internationally comparable, large-scale data. The present paper aims to make three contributions. First, we introduce the Japan Child Panel Survey (JCPS), the first longitudinal survey of school-age children that includes cognitive and non-cognitive measures, and rich household information. The JCPS was developed to measure dynamic inter-relationships between children’s academic and social outcomes, their family background, and local policy and environment, in a way that allows comparison of the results with international data. Second, based on JCPS data, we present selected results of the dynamics of inequality in multiple indicators of children’s educational and behavioral outcomes. We found that changes in cognitive achievement across parental income groups, the degree of mobility of cognitive test scores, and the correlation between the difficulty score and parental education in Japan are similar to other countries, such as the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and Germany. Finally we discuss issues underlying the globalization of education research based on our experiences with the JCPS. We discuss reasons and strategies for further globalization of education research in Japan, and propose suggestions as to how Japanese education research can move toward better international collaboration, particularly in research on economic and educational mobility.