Dirk Krueger Summarizes Losses of Learning and Earnings from School Closures
Nearly all schools in the United States suspended in-person learning during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the fall of 2020 and the spring of 2021, while many schools remained closed, many others reopened for various levels of in-person activity. Debate swirled around the extent to which remote instruction substituted for in-person classes and the potential persistence of learning deficits that could result from prolonged school closures. A new study (29398) by NBER Research Associate Dirk Krueger of the University of Pennsylvania and a team of coauthors presents information on the variation in school closure policies during the 2020-2021 academic year and estimates the impact of closures on the educational attainment and future earnings of affected students. It compares the impact on students from different socioeconomic backgrounds and finds that while schools in more-affluent areas on average remained closed for longer, the families in these areas were better at making up for closure-related learning losses than their less-well-off counterparts. Krueger summarizes the study's findings in the video above. An archive of NBER videos on pandemic-related research may be found here.