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Reopening schools in a context of low COVID-19 contagion: consequences for teachers, students and their parents

Anna Godøy (), Maja Weemes Grøtting () and Rannveig Kaldager Hart ()
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Anna Godøy: University of Oslo
Maja Weemes Grøtting: Norwegian Institute of Public Health
Rannveig Kaldager Hart: Norwegian Institute of Public Health

Journal of Population Economics, 2022, vol. 35, issue 3, No 4, 935-961

Abstract: Abstract Knowing how school reopenings affect the spread of COVID-19 is crucial when balancing children’s right to schooling with contagion management. This paper considers the effects on COVID-19 testing prevalence and the positive test rate of reopening Norwegian schools after a 6-week closure aimed at reducing contagion. We estimate the effects of school reopening on teachers, parents and students using an event study/difference-in-differences design that incorporates comparison groups with minimal exposure to in-person schooling. We find no evidence that COVID-19 incidence increased following reopening among students, parents or teachers pooled across grade levels. We find some suggestive evidence that infection rates among upper secondary school teachers increased; however, the effects are small and transitory. At low levels of contagion, schools can safely be reopened when other social distancing policies remain in place.

Keywords: COVID-19; School closures (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H12 H75 I10 I18 I28 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1007/s00148-021-00882-x

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