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Journal Publication

When the great equalizer shuts down: Schools, peers, and parents in pandemic times

Empty school hallway
Adobe Stock / surpasspro
Researchers aimed to understand the impact on children of school closures and the resulting online schooling related to the COVID-19 pandemic, examinig the factors of peer effects, parent response, and socioeconomic status.

Using a structural model of skill formation, researchers examine the interaction of parent response, socioeconomic status, and peer effects in the context of school closures during COVID-19. They reach findings with important implications for educators, students, and parents: High school students from low-income neighborhoods suffer a learning loss of 0.4 standard deviations after a one-year school closure, whereas children from high-income neighborhoods initially remain unscathed.

Abstract and Citation

Agostinelli, Francesco, and Doepke, Matthias, and Sorrenti, Giuseppe, and Zilibotti, Fabrizio, When the Great Equalizer Shuts Down: Schools, Peers, and Parents in Pandemic Times (February 2022). Journal of Public Economics, Available at: