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When the Great Equalizer Shuts Down: Schools, Peers, and Parents in Pandemic Times

Francesco Agostinelli (), Matthias Doepke (), Giuseppe Sorrenti () and Fabrizio Zilibotti ()
Additional contact information
Francesco Agostinelli: University of Pennsylvania
Giuseppe Sorrenti: University of Amsterdam
Fabrizio Zilibotti: Yale University

No 13965, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: What are the effects of school closures during the Covid-19 pandemic on children's education? Online education is an imperfect substitute for in-person learning, particularly for children from low-income families. Peer effects also change: schools allow children from different socio-economic backgrounds to mix together, and this effect is lost when schools are closed. Another factor is the response of parents, some of whom compensate for the changed environment through their own efforts, while others are unable to do so. We examine the interaction of these factors with the aid of a structural model of skill formation. We find that school closures have a large and persistent effect on educational outcomes that is highly unequal. High school students from poor neighborhoods suffer a learning loss of 0.4 standard deviations, whereas children from rich neighborhoods remain unscathed. The channels operating through schools, peers, and parents all contribute to growing educational inequality during the pandemic.

Keywords: skill acquisition; peer effects; parenting; parenting style; neighborhood effects; COVID-19; pandemics (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I24 J13 J24 R20 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 52 pages
Date: 2020-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu and nep-ure
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Related works:
Working Paper: When the Great Equalizer Shuts Down: Schools, Peers, and Parents in Pandemic Times (2020) Downloads
Working Paper: When the Great Equalizer Shuts Down: Schools, Peers, and Parents in Pandemic Time (2020) Downloads
Working Paper: When the Great Equalizer Shuts Down: Schools, Peers, and Parents in Pandemic Times (2020) Downloads
Working Paper: When the Great Equalizer Shuts Down: Schools, Peers, and Parents in Pandemic Times (2020) Downloads
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