Will I See You in September? An Economic Explanation for the Summer School Vacation

Dartmouth College Economics Working Paper No. 03-03

35 Pages Posted: 14 Oct 2003

See all articles by William A. Fischel

William A. Fischel

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics

Date Written: January 2004

Abstract

The September-to-June school year is not an agricultural holdover. It is a coordinating device to facilitate geographic mobility. The adoption of age-graded schools, which work best if all students start together, and the growth of worker mobility, which requires extra time and amenable weather to relocate households, produced the standard calendar. A "natural experiment" supporting this explanation is the equator. Summer vacation is a norm both north and south of it. However, American and European families on temporary assignment in the Southern Hemisphere use schools that maintain a Northern Hemisphere school year in order to facilitate relocation to their home countries.

Keywords: school year, year-round education, local government, education

JEL Classification: I2, H7, O15

Suggested Citation

Fischel, William A., Will I See You in September? An Economic Explanation for the Summer School Vacation (January 2004). Dartmouth College Economics Working Paper No. 03-03. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=454694 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.454694

William A. Fischel (Contact Author)

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics ( email )

Hanover, NH 03755
United States
603-646-2940 (Phone)
603-646-2122 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~wfischel/

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