IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/28264.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

When the Great Equalizer Shuts Down: Schools, Peers, and Parents in Pandemic Times

Author

Listed:
  • Francesco Agostinelli
  • Matthias Doepke
  • Giuseppe Sorrenti
  • Fabrizio Zilibotti

Abstract

What are the effects of school closures during the Covid-19 pandemic on children's education? Online education is an imperfect substitute for in-person learning, particularly for children from low-income families. Peer effects also change: schools allow children from different socio-economic backgrounds to mix together, and this effect is lost when schools are closed. Another factor is the response of parents, some of whom compensate for the changed environment through their own efforts, while others are unable to do so. We examine the interaction of these factors with the aid of a structural model of skill formation. We find that school closures have a large and persistent effect on educational outcomes that is highly unequal. High school students from poor neighborhoods suffer a learning loss of 0.4 standard deviations, whereas children from rich neighborhoods remain unscathed. The channels operating through schools, peers, and parents all contribute to growing educational inequality during the pandemic.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesco Agostinelli & Matthias Doepke & Giuseppe Sorrenti & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2020. "When the Great Equalizer Shuts Down: Schools, Peers, and Parents in Pandemic Times," NBER Working Papers 28264, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:28264
    Note: ED
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w28264.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Erik Hanushek & Stephen Machin & Ludger Woessmann (ed.), 2011. "Handbook of the Economics of Education," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 4, number 4, June.
    2. Sacerdote, Bruce, 2011. "Peer Effects in Education: How Might They Work, How Big Are They and How Much Do We Know Thus Far?," Handbook of the Economics of Education, in: Erik Hanushek & Stephen Machin & Ludger Woessmann (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Education, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 4, pages 249-277, Elsevier.
    3. Adams-Prassl, A. & Boneva, T. & Golin, M. & Rauh, C., 2020. "Work Tasks That Can Be Done From Home: Evidence on Variation Within and Across Occupations and Industries," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 2040, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    4. Matthias Doepke & Giuseppe Sorrenti & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2019. "The Economics of Parenting," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 11(1), pages 55-84, August.
    5. Daniela Del Boca & Christopher Flinn & Matthew Wiswall, 2014. "Household Choices and Child Development," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 81(1), pages 137-185.
    6. Raj Chetty & Nathaniel Hendren, 2018. "The Impacts of Neighborhoods on Intergenerational Mobility I: Childhood Exposure Effects," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 133(3), pages 1107-1162.
    7. Adams-Prassl, Abi & Boneva, Teodora & Golin, Marta & Rauh, Christopher, 2020. "Inequality in the impact of the coronavirus shock: Evidence from real time surveys," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 189(C).
    8. Dur, Robert & Sol, Joeri, 2010. "Social interaction, co-worker altruism, and incentives," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 293-301, July.
    9. Francesco Agostinelli & Matthias Doepke & Giuseppe Sorrenti & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2020. "It Takes a Village: The Economics of Parenting with Neighborhood and Peer Effects," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 2228, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    10. Orazio Attanasio & Sarah Cattan & Emla Fitzsimons & Costas Meghir & Marta Rubio-Codina, 2020. "Estimating the Production Function for Human Capital: Results from a Randomized Controlled Trial in Colombia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 110(1), pages 48-85, January.
    11. -, 2020. "Education in the time of COVID-19," Coediciones, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), number 45905 edited by Eclac.
    12. -, 2020. "Education in the time of COVID-19," Libros y Documentos Institucionales, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), number 45905 edited by Eclac.
    13. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman & Susanne M. Schennach, 2010. "Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(3), pages 883-931, May.
    14. Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln & Dirk Krueger & André Kurmann & Etienne Lalé & Alexander Ludwig & Irina Popova, 2023. "The Fiscal and Welfare Effects of Policy Responses to the Covid-19 School Closures," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 71(1), pages 35-98, March.
    15. Giorgio Di Pietro & Federico Biagi & Patricia Costa & Zbigniew Karpinski & Jacopo Mazza, 2020. "The likely impact of COVID-19 on education: Reflections based on the existing literature and recent international datasets," JRC Research Reports JRC121071, Joint Research Centre.
    16. Nicola Fuchs-Schünde & Dirk Krueger & Alexander Ludwig & Irina Popova, 2022. "The Long-Term Distributional and Welfare Effects of Covid-19 School Closures," The Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 132(645), pages 1647-1683.
    17. Steven N. Durlauf & Yannis M. Ioannides, 2010. "Social Interactions," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 451-478, September.
    18. Werner, Katharina & Woessmann, Ludger, 2021. "The Legacy of COVID-19 in Education," IZA Discussion Papers 14796, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    19. Lawrence E. Blume & William A. Brock & Steven N. Durlauf & Yannis M. Ioannides, 2010. "Identification of Social Interactions," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0754, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
    20. Adams-Prassl, Abigail & Boneva, Teodora & Rauh, Christopher & Golin, Marta, 2020. "Work Tasks That Can Be Done From Home: Evidence on Variation Within & Across Occupations and Industries," CEPR Discussion Papers 14901, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    21. Zenou, Yves & List, John & Momeni, Fatemeh, 2019. "Are Estimates of Early Education Programs Too Pessimistic? Evidence from a Large-Scale Field Experiment that Causally Measures," CEPR Discussion Papers 13725, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    22. Per Engzell & Arun Frey & Mark D. Verhagen, 2021. "Learning loss due to school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 118(17), pages 2022376118-, April.
    23. Grewenig, Elisabeth & Lergetporer, Philipp & Werner, Katharina & Woessmann, Ludger & Zierow, Larissa, 2021. "COVID-19 and educational inequality: How school closures affect low- and high-achieving students," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 140(C).
    24. List, John A. & Momeni, Fatemeh & Zenou, Yves, 2019. "Are Estimates of Early Education Programs Too Pessimistic? Evidence from a Large-Scale Field Experiment that Causally Measures Neighbor Effects," Working Paper Series 1293, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    25. Bacher-Hicks, Andrew & Goodman, Joshua & Mulhern, Christine, 2021. "Inequality in household adaptation to schooling shocks: Covid-induced online learning engagement in real time," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 193(C).
    26. Francesco Agostinelli & Matthew Wiswall, 2016. "Estimating the Technology of Children's Skill Formation," NBER Working Papers 22442, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    27. Tertilt, Michèle & Doepke, Matthias & Olmstead-Rumsey, Jane, 2020. "This Time It’s Different: The Role of Women’s Employment in a Pandemic Recession," CEPR Discussion Papers 15149, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    28. Youngsoo Jang & Minchul Yum, 2020. "Aggregate and Intergenerational Implications of School Closures: A Quantitative Assessment," CRC TR 224 Discussion Paper Series crctr224_2020_234v1, University of Bonn and University of Mannheim, Germany.
    29. William A. Brock & Steven N. Durlauf, 2010. "Adoption Curves and Social Interactions," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(1), pages 232-251, March.
    30. Raj Chetty & Nathaniel Hendren, 2018. "The Impacts of Neighborhoods on Intergenerational Mobility II: County-Level Estimates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 133(3), pages 1163-1228.
    31. Simon Mongey & Laura Pilossoph & Alexander Weinberg, 2021. "Which workers bear the burden of social distancing?," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 19(3), pages 509-526, September.
    32. Adams-Prassl, Abi & Boneva, Teodora & Golin, Marta & Rauh, Christopher, 2022. "Work that can be done from home: evidence on variation within and across occupations and industries," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(C).
    33. Antoni Calvó-Armengol & Eleonora Patacchini & Yves Zenou, 2009. "Peer Effects and Social Networks in Education," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 76(4), pages 1239-1267.
    34. Alison Andrew & Sarah Cattan & Monica Costa Dias & Christine Farquharson & Lucy Kraftman & Sonya Krutikova & Angus Phimister & Almudena Sevilla, 2020. "Inequalities in Children's Experiences of Home Learning during the COVID‐19 Lockdown in England," Fiscal Studies, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 41(3), pages 653-683, September.
    35. Raj Chetty & Nathaniel Hendren & Lawrence F. Katz, 2016. "The Effects of Exposure to Better Neighborhoods on Children: New Evidence from the Moving to Opportunity Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(4), pages 855-902, April.
    36. Fabian Eckert & Tatjana Kleineberg, 2019. "Can We Save the American Dream? A Dynamic General Equilibrium Analysis of the Effects of School Financing on Local Opportunities," 2019 Meeting Papers 1197, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    37. Jang, Youngsoo & Yum, Minchul, 2020. "Aggregate and Intergenerational Implications of School Closures: A Quantitative Assessment," MPRA Paper 107593, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    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. Jo Blanden & Matthias Doepke & Jan Stuhler, 2022. "Education inequality," CEP Discussion Papers dp1849, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    2. Francesco Agostinelli & Matthias Doepke & Giuseppe Sorrenti & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2020. "It Takes a Village: The Economics of Parenting with Neighborhood and Peer Effects," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 2228, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    3. John A. List & Fatemeh Momeni & Yves Zenou, 2020. "The Social Side of Early Human Capital Formation: Using a Field Experiment to Estimate the Causal Impact of Neighborhoods," Working Papers 2020-187, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.
    4. Vincent Boucher & Carlo L. Del Bello & Fabrizio Panebianco & Thierry Verdier & Yves Zenou, 2023. "Education Transmission and Network Formation," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(1), pages 129-173.
    5. Svaleryd, Helena & Vlachos, Jonas, 2022. "COVID-19 and School Closures," GLO Discussion Paper Series 1008, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    6. Matthias Doepke & Giuseppe Sorrenti & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2019. "The Economics of Parenting," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 11(1), pages 55-84, August.
    7. Stefanie Stantcheva, 2022. "Inequalities in the times of a pandemic," Economic Policy, CEPR, CESifo, Sciences Po;CES;MSH, vol. 37(109), pages 5-41.
    8. Werner, Katharina & Woessmann, Ludger, 2021. "The Legacy of COVID-19 in Education," IZA Discussion Papers 14796, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Youngsoo Jang & Minchul Yum, 2020. "Aggregate and Intergenerational Implications of School Closures: A Quantitative Assessment," CRC TR 224 Discussion Paper Series crctr224_2020_234v1, University of Bonn and University of Mannheim, Germany.
    10. John A. List & Fatemeh Momeni & Yves Zenou, 2020. "The Social Side of Early Human Capital Formation: Using a Field Experiment to Estimate the Causal Impact of Neighborhoods," Working Papers 2020-187, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.
    11. Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln & Dirk Krueger & André Kurmann & Etienne Lalé & Alexander Ludwig & Irina Popova, 2023. "The Fiscal and Welfare Effects of Policy Responses to the Covid-19 School Closures," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 71(1), pages 35-98, March.
    12. Michael J. Kottelenberg & Steven F. Lehrer, 2019. "How Skills and Parental Valuation of Education Influence Human Capital Acquisition and Early Labor Market Return to Human Capital in Canada," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(S2), pages 735-778.
    13. Suzane Bellue, 2023. "Why Don’t Poor Families Move? A Spatial Equilibirum Analysis of Parental Decisions with Social Learning," CRC TR 224 Discussion Paper Series crctr224_2023_472, University of Bonn and University of Mannheim, Germany.
    14. 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).
    15. Kiessling, Lukas, 2021. "How do parents perceive the returns to parenting styles and neighborhoods?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 139(C).
    16. Santiago Pereda-Fernández, 2017. "Social Spillovers in the Classroom: Identification, Estimation and Policy Analysis," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 84(336), pages 712-747, October.
    17. Nicola Fuchs-Schünde & Dirk Krueger & Alexander Ludwig & Irina Popova, 2022. "The Long-Term Distributional and Welfare Effects of Covid-19 School Closures," The Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 132(645), pages 1647-1683.
    18. Guido Neidhöfer & Nora Lustig & Mariano Tommasi, 2021. "Intergenerational transmission of lockdown consequences: prognosis of the longer-run persistence of COVID-19 in Latin America," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 19(3), pages 571-598, September.
    19. Agostinelli, Francesco & Avitabile, Ciro & Bobba, Matteo, 2021. "Enhancing Human Capital in Children: A Case Study on Scaling," TSE Working Papers 21-1196, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE), revised Oct 2023.
    20. Michael D. König & Xiaodong Liu & Yves Zenou, 2019. "R&D Networks: Theory, Empirics, and Policy Implications," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 101(3), pages 476-491, July.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • R20 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - General

    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:28264. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: the person in charge (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.