IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/23890.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Paralyzed by Panic: Measuring the Effect of School Closures during the 1916 Polio Pandemic on Educational Attainment

Author

Listed:
  • Keith Meyers
  • Melissa A. Thomasson

Abstract

We leverage the 1916 polio pandemic in the United States as a natural experiment to test whether short-term school closures result in reduced educational attainment as an adult. With over 23,000 cases of polio diagnosed in 1916, officials implemented quarantines and closed schools. Since the pandemic occurred during the start of the 1916 school year, children of working age may have elected not to return to school. Using state-level polio morbidity as a proxy for schooling disruptions, we find that children ages 14-17 during the pandemic had less educational attainment in 1940 compared to their slightly older peers.

Suggested Citation

  • Keith Meyers & Melissa A. Thomasson, 2017. "Paralyzed by Panic: Measuring the Effect of School Closures during the 1916 Polio Pandemic on Educational Attainment," NBER Working Papers 23890, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23890
    Note: DAE ED
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w23890.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1992. "Does School Quality Matter? Returns to Education and the Characteristics of Public Schools in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 1-40, February.
    2. Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2007. "The Impact of Length of the School Year on Student Performance and Earnings: Evidence From the German Short School Years," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(523), pages 1216-1242, October.
    3. Margo, Robert A. & Aldrich Finegan, T., 1996. "Compulsory schooling legislation and school attendance in turn-of-the century America: A 'natural experiment' approach," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 103-110, October.
    4. Dave E. Marcotte & Steven W. Hemelt, 2008. "Unscheduled School Closings and Student Performance," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 3(3), pages 316-338, July.
    5. John Parman, 2013. "Childhood Health and Sibling Outcomes: The Shared Burden and Benefit of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic," NBER Working Papers 19505, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Lleras-Muney, Adriana, 2002. "Were Compulsory Attendance and Child Labor Laws Effective? An Analysis from 1915 to 1939," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(2), pages 401-435, October.
    7. Moehling, Carolyn M., 1999. "State Child Labor Laws and the Decline of Child Labor," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 72-106, January.
    8. Alan Siu & Y. C. Richard Wong, 2004. "Economic Impact of SARS: The Case of Hong Kong," Asian Economic Papers, MIT Press, vol. 3(1), pages 62-83.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Arthi, Vellore & Parman, John, 2021. "Disease, downturns, and wellbeing: Economic history and the long-run impacts of COVID-19," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 79(C).
    2. Brian Beach & Karen Clay & Martin Saavedra, 2020. "The 1918 Influenza Pandemic and its Lessons for COVID-19," Working Papers 2020-15, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
    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. Murat, Marina & Bonacini, Luca, 2020. "Coronavirus pandemic, remote learning and education inequalities," GLO Discussion Paper Series 679, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    5. Brian Beach & Karen Clay & Martin H. Saavedra, 2020. "The 1918 Influenza Pandemic and its Lessons for COVID-19," NBER Working Papers 27673, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Sonja Fagernäs, 2011. "Protection through Proof of Age. Birth Registration and Child Labor in Early 20th Century USA," Working Paper Series 2311, Department of Economics, University of Sussex Business School.
    2. Marco Manacorda, 2006. "Child Labor and the Labor Supply of Other Household Members: Evidence from 1920 America," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1788-1801, December.
    3. Aucejo, Esteban M. & Romano, Teresa Foy, 2016. "Assessing the effect of school days and absences on test score performance," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 70-87.
    4. Oriana Bandiera & Myra Mohnen & Imran Rasul & Martina Viarengo, 2019. "Nation-building Through Compulsory Schooling during the Age of Mass Migration," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 129(617), pages 62-109.
    5. repec:cep:stieop:57 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Caio Piza & André Portela Souza, 2017. "The Causal Impacts of Child Labor Law in Brazil: Some Preliminary Findings," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 30(Supplemen), pages 137-144.
    7. Bingley, Paul & Heinesen, Eskil & Krassel, Karl Fritjof & Kristensen, Nicolai, 2018. "The Timing of Instruction Time: Accumulated Hours, Timing and Pupil Achievement," IZA Discussion Papers 11807, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. Fagernäs, Sonja, 2014. "Papers, please! The effect of birth registration on child labor and education in early 20th century USA," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 63-92.
    9. Lleras-Muney, Adriana, 2002. "Were Compulsory Attendance and Child Labor Laws Effective? An Analysis from 1915 to 1939," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(2), pages 401-435, October.
    10. Simon Søbstad Bensnes, 2016. "Preparation time, exam scores, and tertiary education," Working Paper Series 17216, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
    11. Parinduri, Rasyad A., 2014. "Do children spend too much time in schools? Evidence from a longer school year in Indonesia," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 89-104.
    12. Boockmann, Bernhard, 2010. "The Effect of ILO Minimum Age Conventions on Child Labor and School Attendance: Evidence From Aggregate and Individual-Level Data," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 679-692, May.
    13. Philipp Mandel & Bernd Süssmuth, 2011. "Total Instructional Time Exposure and Student Achievement: An Extreme Bounds Analysis Based on German State-Level Variation," CESifo Working Paper Series 3580, CESifo.
    14. Matthias Doepke & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2005. "The Macroeconomics of Child Labor Regulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1492-1524, December.
    15. G. Bellettini & C. Berti Ceroni, 2000. "Compulsory schooling laws and the cure against child labor," Working Papers 394, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    16. Gordon Dahl, 2010. "Early teen marriage and future poverty," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 47(3), pages 689-718, August.
    17. Kikuchi, Nobuyoshi, 2014. "The effect of instructional time reduction on educational attainment: Evidence from the Japanese curriculum standards revision," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 17-41.
    18. Sophie van Huellen & Duo Qin, 2019. "Compulsory Schooling and Returns to Education: A Re-Examination," Econometrics, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(3), pages 1-20, September.
    19. Hayes, Michael S. & Gershenson, Seth, 2016. "What differences a day can make: Quantile regression estimates of the distribution of daily learning gains," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 141(C), pages 48-51.
    20. Gregory Gilpin, 2018. "Policy-induced School Calendar Changes and Teacher Moonlighting," CAEPR Working Papers 2018-009, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Department of Economics, Indiana University Bloomington.
    21. Huebener, Mathias & Kuger, Susanne & Marcus, Jan, 2017. "Increased instruction hours and the widening gap in student performance," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 15-34.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • I26 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Returns to Education
    • N22 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
    • N3 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23890. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.