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Pandemic School Closures May Increase Inequality in Test Scores

Author

Listed:
  • Catherine Haeck

    (Department of Economics, University of Quebec in Montreal)

  • Pierre Lefebvre

    (Department of Economics, University of Quebec in Montreal)

Abstract

Schools have been closed across the country and will remain closed until September in most provinces. The decision to reopen should take into account current inequalities in cognitive skills across the country and the impact of school interruptions on knowledge accumulation. In this article, we use information from a companion paper to estimate the socioeconomic achievement gaps of 15-year-olds across Canada and assess the impact of the pandemic on inequalities in education. Using estimates from the literature on the impact of school closures, we find that the socioeconomic skills gap measured using PISA data could increase by more than 30 percent.

Suggested Citation

  • Catherine Haeck & Pierre Lefebvre, 2020. "Pandemic School Closures May Increase Inequality in Test Scores," Working Papers 20-03, Research Group on Human Capital, University of Quebec in Montreal's School of Management, revised Jun 2020.
  • Handle: RePEc:grc:wpaper:20-03
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    File URL: https://grch.esg.uqam.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/82/Haeck_Lefebvre_GRCH_WP20-03-5.pdf
    File Function: Revised version, 2020
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Anders Böhlmark & Mikael Lindahl, 2015. "Independent Schools and Long-run Educational Outcomes: Evidence from Sweden's Large-scale Voucher Reform," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 82(327), pages 508-551, July.
    2. David Card & Martin D. Dooley & A. Abigail Payne, 2010. "School Competition and Efficiency with Publicly Funded Catholic Schools," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 150-176, October.
    3. Elizabeth Dhuey & Justin Smith, 2014. "How important are school principals in the production of student achievement?," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 47(2), pages 634-663, May.
    4. Jo Blanden, 2013. "Cross-Country Rankings In Intergenerational Mobility: A Comparison Of Approaches From Economics And Sociology," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(1), pages 38-73, February.
    5. Jo Blanden & Paul Gregg & Lindsey Macmillan, 2010. "Intergenerational Persistence in Income and Social Class: The Impact of Within-Group Inequality," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 10/230, The Centre for Market and Public Organisation, University of Bristol, UK.
    6. Blanden, Jo, 2013. "Cross-national rankings of intergenerational mobility: a comparison of approaches from economics and sociology," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 59310, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    7. Philippe Belley & Lance Lochner, 2007. "The Changing Role of Family Income and Ability in Determining Educational Achievement," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 37-89.
    8. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman, 2008. "Formulating, Identifying and Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(4).
    9. Marie Connolly & Catherine Haeck & David Lapierre, 2019. "Social Mobility Trends in Canada: Going up the Great Gatsby Curve," Working Papers 19-03, Research Group on Human Capital, University of Quebec in Montreal's School of Management, revised May 2019.
    10. Peter Dolton & Oscar Marcenaro Gutierrez, 2011. "Teachers' Pay and Pupil Performance," CentrePiece - The Magazine for Economic Performance 352, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pierre-Loup Beauregard & Marie Connolly & Catherine Haeck & Timea Laura Molnar, 2020. "Primary School Reopenings and Parental Work," Working Papers 20-06, Research Group on Human Capital, University of Quebec in Montreal's School of Management.
    2. Sabine Zinn & Michael Bayer, 2021. "Time Spent on School-Related Activities at Home during the Pandemic: A Longitudinal Analysis of Social Group Inequality among Secondary School Students," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 1132, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    3. Marina Murat & Luca Bonacini, 2020. "Coronavirus pandemic, remote learning and education inequalities," Department of Economics 0177, University of Modena and Reggio E., Faculty of Economics "Marco Biagi".
    4. Marina Murat & Luca Bonacini, 2020. "Coronavirus pandemic, remote learning and education inequalities," Department of Economics (DEMB) 0177, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Department of Economics "Marco Biagi".

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    cognitive skills; socioeconomic inequalities; PISA; pandemic; Canadian provinces;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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