JDR Vol.19 No.2 pp. 446-454
doi: 10.20965/jdr.2024.p0446


Estimating the Effects of Regulating In-Person University Lectures on the Spread of COVID-19: Evidence from Japan

Michinao Okachi*,**,† ORCID Icon and Haewon Youn* ORCID Icon

*Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo
3-8-1 Komaba, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-8902, Japan

**Research Center for Policy Design, Tohoku University
Sendai, Japan

Corresponding author

October 4, 2023
December 21, 2023
April 1, 2024
COVID-19, university lecture style, multiple event study

Universities were the only educational institutions that restricted in-person lectures during the prolonged coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. This study is the first attempt to estimate the effects of restricting in-person lectures on containing the spread of COVID-19. Our investigation was conducted on Japanese universities since their various lecture styles are suitable for our analysis. A multiple-event study negative binomial regression model was employed, and the results showed that restricting the ratio of in-person lectures had limited effects on decreasing COVID-19 infections among university students. For example, if universities restrict almost all in-person lecture from a rate of over half of in-person lectures, the number of student infections would decline by 5.5 per 10,000 students between seven weeks before and after the change. Other lecture style changes had even smaller differences. In addition, we estimated the effect of the start of long breaks on the number of infections and found that they lead to a relatively higher level of infections regardless of lecture styles at the end of semesters. This implies that students are more likely to be infected outside than in class.

Cite this article as:
M. Okachi and H. Youn, “Estimating the Effects of Regulating In-Person University Lectures on the Spread of COVID-19: Evidence from Japan,” J. Disaster Res., Vol.19 No.2, pp. 446-454, 2024.
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Last updated on Apr. 05, 2024