The Legacy of COVID-19 in Education

71 Pages Posted: 20 Oct 2021

See all articles by Katharina Werner

Katharina Werner

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) - Ifo Institute; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) - ifo Center for the Economics of Education

Ludger Woessmann

Ifo Institute for Economic Research; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research); University of Munich - Ifo Institute for Economic Research

Date Written: 2021

Abstract

If school closures and social-distancing experiences during the Covid-19 pandemic impeded children’s skill development, they may leave a lasting legacy in human capital. To understand the pandemic’s effects on school children, this paper combines a review of the emerging international literature with new evidence from German longitudinal time-use surveys. Based on the conceptual framework of an education production function, we cover evidence on child, parent, and school inputs and students’ cognitive and socio-emotional development. The German panel evidence shows that children’s learning time decreased severely during the first school closures, particularly for low-achieving students, and increased only slightly one year later. In a value-added model, learning time increases with daily online class instruction, but not with other school activities. The review shows substantial losses in cognitive skills on achievement tests, particularly for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Socio-emotional wellbeing also declined in the short run. Structural models and reduced-form projections suggest that unless remediated, the school closures will persistently reduce skill development, lifetime income, and economic growth and increase inequality.

Keywords: Covid-19, school closures, education, schools, students, educational inequality

JEL Classification: I200, H520, J240

Suggested Citation

Werner, Katharina and Woessmann, Ludger, The Legacy of COVID-19 in Education (2021). CESifo Working Paper No. 9358, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3945280 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3945280

Katharina Werner (Contact Author)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) - Ifo Institute ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, 01069
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) - ifo Center for the Economics of Education ( email )

Munich
Germany

Ludger Woessmann

Ifo Institute for Economic Research ( email )

Poschingerstr. 5
Munich
Germany
++49 89 9224 1699 (Phone)
++49 89 9224 1460 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.cesifo.de/link/woessmann_l.htm

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

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University of Munich - Ifo Institute for Economic Research

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