The Effects of School Closures on Homeschooling and Mental Health: Evidence from the COVID-19 Pandemic
52 Pages Posted: 10 Jan 2022 Last revised: 16 May 2023
Date Written: January 5, 2022
This paper investigates the surge in homeschooling over the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences for parental mental health outcomes. First, we document three new facts about the incidence and correlates of homeschooling. Second, we find that increases in the share of public school districts that went fully remote are associated with increases in the probability of adopting homeschooling. Our identification strategy exploits within-state changes in homeschooling and remote instruction, rather than levels, thereby removing time-invariant heterogeneity across locations. Third, we find that the increase in remote instruction led to a sharp decline in parental mental health, but homeschooling functioned as an imperfect substitute that partially shielded the deterioration in mental health. Although many parents that adopted homeschooling may have done so out of necessity, we find suggest evidence that at least some parents who persisted in homeschooling even after re-opening may have permanently shifted as a meaningful post-pandemic alternative.
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: Suggested Citation