The Effect of Lockdown on Students’ Performance: A Comparative Study between Sweden, Italy, and Turkey
23 Pages Posted: 24 Jul 2021
Date Written: July 21, 2021
During the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, different countries adopted different strategies in order to mitigate the effects of the pandemic. Regarding higher education, university studies were moved entirely to digital solutions in some countries, while other countries kept the universities open but restricted access. The sudden move to digital educational solutions affected students differently, and since different countries invented different mitigation strategies we got an opportunity to compare the effects of lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic on university students’ performance in Italy, Sweden, and Turkey. We employ a difference-in-differences approach by exploiting the fact that Italy and Turkey experienced national lockdowns, while Sweden never applied nationwide mandatory restrictive measures. We use administrative data from universities in the three countries to estimate the probability to pass exams after the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic (and the shift to distance education), with respect to the previous comparable period. We find that the pass rate decreased with the shift to online teaching. However, lockdown measures, especially if very restrictive as those applied in Italy, helped to compensate for such negative effects. A possible explanation is that students took advantage of the huge increase in the time available for their studies, given the impossibility to carry out any activity outside the home.
Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic; Students’ outcomes; Student’s integration; Time-to-study; Difference-in-Differences.
JEL Classification: I21; I28
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation