Assessing Inequality in the School Closure Response to COVID-19

20 Pages Posted: 24 Jun 2020

See all articles by Xiqian Cai

Xiqian Cai

Xiamen University - Wang Yanan Institute for Studies in Economics (WISE)

Jingcheng Fu

National University of Singapore (NUS), Department of Economics

Yi Lu

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Department of Economics

Xiangming Tang

Quanzhou Number 1 Middle School

Songfa Zhong

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Department of Economics

Date Written: June 19, 2020

Abstract

The spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has caused school closures in more than 190 countries, affecting over 90% of the world’s student population. School closures can widen learning inequalities and disproportionately hurt vulnerable students. We collected data on the mock exam scores of university applicants in China before and after a two-month period of school closure. We observe that students from rural households and those receiving grant aid are more negatively affected by school closures compared to their urban and non-aided counterparts. To strengthen the causal interpretation of the results, we also investigate the scores in the previous graduating cohort who did not experience school closure, and find no evidence of the change in score over the same calendar period. Our study points to the urgent need to address the immediately increased and potentially long-termed educational inequality caused by school closures.

Keywords: Inequality; School closures; Education; Covid-19

JEL Classification: I24, I28, J00

Suggested Citation

Cai, Xiqian and Fu, Jingcheng and Lu, Yi and Tang, Xiangming and Zhong, Songfa, Assessing Inequality in the School Closure Response to COVID-19 (June 19, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3632103 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3632103

Xiqian Cai (Contact Author)

Xiamen University - Wang Yanan Institute for Studies in Economics (WISE) ( email )

B 309, Economics Building
Xiamen, Fujian 10246
China

Jingcheng Fu

National University of Singapore (NUS), Department of Economics ( email )

Singapore
Singapore

Yi Lu

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Department of Economics ( email )

1 Arts Link, AS2 #06-02
Singapore 117570, Singapore 119077
Singapore
65-65166834 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://ylu6.weebly.com

Xiangming Tang

Quanzhou Number 1 Middle School

Xuefu Street, Meishi Road
Quanzhou
Fujian 362000
China

Songfa Zhong

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Department of Economics ( email )

1 Arts Link, AS2 #06-02
Singapore 117570, Singapore 119077
Singapore

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