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Permanent Economic Damage from Learning Losses

Eric A. Hanushek, Ludger Woessmann
Published Date: 
September 2020
National Review Capital Matters

Countries around the world have taken wildly different paths to manage the COVID-19 virus. Some, such as Sweden, have mostly kept their schools open, while others, such as the U.S., have closed many of their schools. While the closing of schools may help slow the spread of the virus, it comes with a cost: reduced access to education. In a new study reported in an OECD paper, we explored those costs. Unless schools actually get better than they were in 2019, existing research indicates this will lead to permanently lower future earnings.