The long run impact of the COVID-19 school closures.
Due to the restrictions owing to COVID-19, the world experienced a school lockdown of an unprecedented scope and duration.
This research focusses on Flanders where first evidence suggests significant learning losses in all tested subjects and an increase in inequality both within and across schools. The present research investigates the long term impact of the school closures as well as the impact of governing structures and initiatives that potentially mitigate the learning losses. By exploiting unique administrative data and by collecting novel data from a randomized controlled trail, it answers four interrelated research questions:
(1) How resilient are students? Do we still observe learning losses at the end of primary education one to four years after the school closures, and which students benefited from the school closures?
(2) Do school closures result in increased prevalence of fractured educational careers, grade retention and early school leaving?
(3) Do managerial and organizational practices influence the observed learning losses?
(4) Are behavioural economics insights effective to nudge (disadvantaged) students to remediation initiatives? Does the effect of remediation initiatives differ along students’ personality traits?
Besides academic impact to the economics of education literature, the present research informs the policy debate on education quality by examining the determinants and evolution of the learning losses.