Remote Learning and Educational Inequality

34 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2022

See all articles by Zhanzhi Zheng

Zhanzhi Zheng

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Kenan-Flagler Business School

Ruomeng Cui

Goizueta Business School, Emory University

Shenyang Jiang

Tongji University

Date Written: July 11, 2022

Abstract

Educational equity is a strong foundation of a fair and thriving society. However, studies have repeatedly identified educational inequality between developed and developing regions. Remote learning has changed how knowledge is delivered and how students access educational resources. In this paper, we study whether and when remote learning can reduce the observed educational inequality. We collect students' performance on China's national college entrance examination from 2018 to 2020. Leveraging the transition to remote learning due to the pandemic as an exogenous shock, we use the difference-in-differences approach to estimate the impact of remote learning on the performance gap across regions. We find that remote learning has significantly improved learning outcomes of students in developing regions relative to students in developed regions. We also find that the digital divide in people's access to and proficiency with using digital technologies limits that effect. Our work reveals the implications of adopting remote learning and highlights the importance of digital technology capabilities.

Keywords: remote learning, educational inequality, digital divide, natural experiment

Suggested Citation

Zheng, Zhanzhi and Cui, Ruomeng and Jiang, Shenyang, Remote Learning and Educational Inequality (July 11, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4159088 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4159088

Zhanzhi Zheng

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Kenan-Flagler Business School ( email )

McColl Building
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3490
United States

Ruomeng Cui (Contact Author)

Goizueta Business School, Emory University ( email )

1300 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.ruomengcui.com

Shenyang Jiang

Tongji University ( email )

Siping Road 1500
Shanghai, Shanghai 200092
China

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