Assessing Inequality in the School Closure Response to Covid-19
37 Pages Posted: 1 Apr 2022
The spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has caused school closures in most countries, affecting over 90% of the worlds student population. School closures can widen learning inequalities and disproportionately hurt vulnerable students. We collected data on the exam scores of university applicants in China before and after a two-month period of school closure. We observe that students from rural, lower-income households are more negatively affected by school closures compared to their urban, higher-income counterparts. The inequality effect remains sizable in the admission exam three months after schools reopen. To strengthen the causal interpretation of the results, we investigate the scores in the previous graduating cohorts who did not experience school closure, and find no evidence of the change in scores over the same calendar period. Our study points to the urgent need to address the educational inequality caused by school closures.
Keywords: inequality, School closures, Education, COVID-19
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation