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The Fiscal and Welfare Effects of Policy Responses to the Covid-19 School Closures

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  • Ludwig, Alexander
  • Fuchs-Schündeln, Nicola
  • Krueger, Dirk
  • Kurmann, Andre
  • Lalé, Etienne
  • Popova, Irina

Abstract

Using a structural life-cycle model and data on school visits from Safegraph and school closures from Burbio, we quantify the heterogeneous impact of school closures during the Corona crisis on children affected at different ages and coming from households with different parental characteristics. Our data suggests that secondary schools were closed for in-person learning for longer periods than elementary schools (implying that younger children experienced less school closures than older children), and that private schools experienced shorter closures than public schools, and schools in poorer U.S. counties experienced shorter school closures. We then extend the structural life cycle model of private and public schooling investments studied in Fuchs-Schündeln, Krueger, Ludwig, and Popova (2021) to include the choice of parents whether to send their children to private schools, empirically discipline it with data on parental investments from the PSID, and then feed into the model the school closure measures from our empirical analysis to quantify the long-run consequences of the Covid-19 school closures on the cohorts of children currently in school. Future earnings- and welfare losses are largest for children that started public secondary schools at the onset of the Covid-19 crisis. Comparing children from the top to children from the bottom quartile of the income distribution, welfare losses are ca. 0.8 percentage points larger for the poorer children if school closures were unrelated to income. Accounting for the longer school closures in richer counties reduces this gap by about 1/3. A policy intervention that extends schools by 3 months (6 weeks in the next two summers) generates significant welfare gains for the children and raises future tax revenues approximately sufficient to pay for the cost of this schooling expansion.

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  • Ludwig, Alexander & Fuchs-Schündeln, Nicola & Krueger, Dirk & Kurmann, Andre & Lalé, Etienne & Popova, Irina, 2021. "The Fiscal and Welfare Effects of Policy Responses to the Covid-19 School Closures," CEPR Discussion Papers 16663, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:16663
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    Cited by:

    1. Kurmann, André & Lalé, Etienne, 2021. "School Closures and Effective In-Person Learning during COVID-19: When, Where, and for Whom," School of Economics Working Paper Series 2021-18, LeBow College of Business, Drexel University.
    2. Jo Blanden & Matthias Doepke & Jan Stuhler, 2022. "Education inequality," CEP Discussion Papers dp1849, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    3. Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln, 2022. "Covid-Induced School Closures in the US and Germany: Long-Term Distributional Effects," CESifo Working Paper Series 9698, CESifo.
    4. Glover, Andrew & Heathcote, Jonathan & Krueger, Dirk, 2022. "Optimal age-Based vaccination and economic mitigation policies for the second phase of the covid-19 pandemic," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 140(C).
    5. Kóczán, Zs., 2024. "Lasting scars: The long-term effects of school closures on earnings," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 176(C).
    6. Krueger, Dirk & Ludwig, Alexander & Popova, Irina, 2024. "Shaping inequality and intergenerational persistence of poverty: Free college or better schools," ICIR Working Paper Series 54/24, Goethe University Frankfurt, International Center for Insurance Regulation (ICIR).
    7. Bachmann, Rüdiger & Bayer, Christian & Kornejew, Martin, 2023. "Pandemic Consumption," CEPR Discussion Papers 18120, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Agostinelli, Francesco & Doepke, Matthias & Sorrenti, Giuseppe & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2022. "When the great equalizer shuts down: Schools, peers, and parents in pandemic times," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 206(C).
    9. Suzanne Bellue & Lukas Mahler, 2024. "Efficiency and Equity of Education Tracking A Quantitative Analysis," CRC TR 224 Discussion Paper Series crctr224_2024_546, University of Bonn and University of Mannheim, Germany.
    10. Mahler, Lukas & Yum, Minchul, 2024. "Aggregate and distributional effects of school closure mitigation policies: Public versus private education," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 235(C).
    11. Yinon Bar-On & Tatiana Baron & Ofer Cornfeld & Eran Yashiv, 2023. "When to Lock, Not Whom: Managing Epidemics Using Time-Based Restrictions," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 51, pages 292-321, December.
    12. Clare Halloran & Rebecca Jack & James C. Okun & Emily Oster, 2021. "Pandemic Schooling Mode and Student Test Scores: Evidence from US States," NBER Working Papers 29497, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Aparicio Fenoll, Ainoa, 2022. "The Uneven Effect of COVID School Closures: Parents in Teleworkable vs. Non-teleworkable Occupations," IZA Discussion Papers 15754, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    14. Benjamin Hansen & Joseph J. Sabia & Jessamyn Schaller, 2022. "In-Person Schooling and Youth Suicide: Evidence from School Calendars and Pandemic School Closures," NBER Working Papers 30795, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Goldfayn-Frank, Olga & Lewis, Vivien & Wehrhöfer, Nils, 2022. "Spending effects of child-related fiscal transfers," Discussion Papers 26/2022, Deutsche Bundesbank.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Covid-19; School closures; Inequality; Intergenerational persistence;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D15 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Intertemporal Household Choice; Life Cycle Models and Saving
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality

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