Elisabeth Grewenig, Philipp Lergetporer, Katharina Werner, Ludger Woessmann, Larissa Zierow, 15 November 2020

A key feature of school closures is that there is no trained educator in the room to help. This column argues that low-achieving students are particularly affected by the lack of teacher support. Based on a German time-use survey, it finds that students on average reduced daily learning time by about half during the school closures. This reduction was significantly larger for low-achieving students, who disproportionately replaced learning time with activities deemed detrimental to child development such as computer gaming rather than with more conducive activities such as reading. 

Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln, Dirk Krueger, Alexander Ludwig, Irina Popova, 12 November 2020

According to the World Bank, around 1.6 billion school children were affected by Covid-related school and childcare centre closures at their peak. This column uses a model that features public schooling as an input into the human capital production of children, as well as the monetary and time investment of parents into their children. The results suggest that school and childcare closures have significant negative long-term consequences on the human capital and welfare of the affected children, especially those from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds. The loss in schooling and associated human capital accumulation is harder to offset the longer the crisis lasts.

Ban Ki-moon, Erik Berglöf, Gordon Brown, Helen Clark, Graça Machel, Mary Robinson, 18 August 2020

With over one billion children still out of school because of the lockdown, there is now a real and present danger that the public health crisis will create a COVID generation who lose out on schooling and whose opportunities are permanently damaged. Yet at the very time we need extra resources, education funding is under threat. This letter from over 275 world leaders calls on the G20, the IMF, the World Bank and regional development banks and all countries to recognise the scale of the crisis, and proposes three initiatives to get the most disadvantaged and vulnerable back into education and enable them to catch up.

CEPR Policy Research