The Effects of School Closures on Mental Health: Evidence from the COVID-19 Pandemic

45 Pages Posted: 10 Jan 2022 Last revised: 12 Sep 2023

See all articles by Christos Makridis

Christos Makridis

Stanford University; Institute for the Future (IFF), Department of Digital Innovation, School of Business, University of Nicosia; Arizona State University (ASU); Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Clara Piano

Samford University

Corey DeAngelis

American Federation for Children; Cato Institute; Reason Foundation

Date Written: January 5, 2022

Abstract

This paper investigates the surge in remote instruction over the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences for parental mental health. Using plausibly exogenous within-state variation in the timing and intensity of school closures between 2020 and 2021, we document a negative effect on parental mental health. Our results are robust to a wide array of demographic controls, state-level economic indicators, and an instrumental variables strategy that leverages the pre-pandemic union power in a state. However, the detrimental effects of remote instruction on parental mental health are about half as large among parents who homeschool. To understand the potential protective effects of homeschooling, we show that remote instruction was associated with a persistent increase in homeschooling rates that persisted even after schools began reopening for in-person instruction.

Note:
Funding: No funding received for the paper.

Declaration of Interests: We, the authors, declare that there is no conflict of interest.

Keywords: COVID-19, Homeschooling, Hybrid and Remote Instruction, Unions, School Closures

JEL Classification: J13, J21, J22, H75

Suggested Citation

Makridis, Christos and Piano, Clara and DeAngelis, Corey, The Effects of School Closures on Mental Health: Evidence from the COVID-19 Pandemic (January 5, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4001953 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4001953

Christos Makridis (Contact Author)

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Institute for the Future (IFF), Department of Digital Innovation, School of Business, University of Nicosia ( email )

Nicosia, 2417
Cyprus

Arizona State University (ASU) ( email )

Farmer Building 440G PO Box 872011
Tempe, AZ 85287
United States

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) ( email )

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Washington, DC 20420
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Clara Piano

Samford University ( email )

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Birmingham, AL 35229
United States

Corey DeAngelis

American Federation for Children ( email )

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Washington, DC 20036
United States

Cato Institute ( email )

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United States

Reason Foundation ( email )

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Washington, DC 20009
United States

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