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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

UNICEF Innocenti's curated library of COVID-19 + Children research

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Digital divide or digital provide? Technology, time use and learning loss during COVID-19

M. Niaz Asadullah; Anindita Bhattacharjee

Published: June 2022
COVID-19 school closure has caused a worldwide shift towards technology-aided home schooling. Given widespread poverty in developing countries, this has raised concerns over new forms of learning inequalities. Using nationwide data on primary and secondary school children in slum and rural households in Bangladesh, the authors examine how learning time at home during the early months of school closure varies by access to technology at home.
Minimum quality regulations and the demand for child care labor

Umair Ali; Chris M. Herbst; Christos A. Makridis

Published: August 2021
Minimum quality regulations are often justified in the child care market because of the presence of information frictions between parents and providers. However, regulations can also have unintended consequences for the quantity and quality of services provided. This paper merges new data on states’ child care regulations for maximum classroom group sizes and child-to-staff ratios with the universe of online job postings to study the impact of regulations on the demand for and characteristics of child care labor.
Mothers’ caregiving during COVID: the impact of divorce laws and homeownership on women’s labor force status

Cynthia Bansak; Shoshana Grossbard; Crystal (Ho Po) Wong

Published: June 2021
This study investigates women’s likelihood of withdrawing from paid labor to care for children and help them with schoolwork as a result of COVID and school closures. Were women more likely to shift out of paid labor in states where property-division rules would better protect the financial interests of stay-at-home parents? Such higher protection is offered in states with community property regimes or with homemaking provisions, the alternative being equitable-division and no homemaking provisions. This research uses monthly data from the U.S. Current Population Survey and compare the labor force participation of women with children in grades K-6 between 2019 and 2020, before and after COVID started.
Did COVID-19 affect the division of labor within the household? evidence from two waves of the pandemic in Italy

Daniela Del Boca; Noemi Oggero; Paola Profeta (et al.)

Published: June 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on families’ lives, with parents all over the world struggling to meet the increased demands of housework, childcare and home-schooling. Much of the additional burden has been shouldered by women, particularly in countries with a traditionally uneven division of household labor. Yet the dramatic increase in remote work from home since the pandemic also has the potential to increase paternal involvement in family life and thus to redress persistent domestic gender role inequalities. This effect depends on the working arrangements of each partner, whether working remotely, working at their usual workplace or ceasing work altogether. This study examines the role of working arrangements during the pandemic on the traditional division of household labor in Italy using survey data from interviews with a representative sample of working women conducted during the two waves of COVID-19 (April and November 2020).
Sharing the caring? The gender division of care work during the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany

Jonas Jessen; C. Katharina Spiess; Sevrin Waights (et al.)

Published: June 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic and related closures of daycare centers and schools significantly increased the amount of care work done by parents. There is much speculation over whether the pandemic increased or decreased gender equality in parental care work. Based on representative data for Germany we present an empirical analysis that shows greater support for the latter rather than the former hypothesis.
Young people between education and the labour market during the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy

Davide Fiaschi; Cristina Tealdi

Published: June 2021
This research analyses the distribution and the flows between different types of employment (self-employment, temporary, and permanent), unemployment, education, and other types of inactivity, with particular focus on the duration of the school-to-work transition (STWT). The aim is to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy on the careers of individuals aged 15-34.
How the COVID-19 pandemic affects job stress of rural teachers

Haizheng Li; Qinyi Liu; Mingyu Ma

Published: May 2021
This study investigates how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected teachers’ job-specific stresses and their enthusiasm for the teaching occupation. It uses unique data from China that cover the periods before and after the start of the pandemic and apply difference-in-differences type methods.
Neither backlash nor convergence: dynamics of intracouple childcare division after the first COVID-19 lockdown and subsequent reopening in Germany

Christina Boll; Dana Müller; Simone Schüller

Published: May 2021
Using unique monthly panel data from the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) covering the immediate postlockdown period from June to August 2020, we investigate the opposing claims of widening/closing the gender gap in parental childcare during the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany. We contribute to the current literature by analyzing the medium-term dynamics of couples’ childcare division and by considering the prepandemic division rather than providing merely snapshots during lockdown.
Apart but connected: online tutoring and student outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic

Michela Carlana; Eliana La Ferrara

Published: February 2021
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the governments of most countries ordered the closure of schools, potentially exacerbating existing learning gaps. This paper evaluates the effectiveness of an intervention implemented in Italian middle schools that provides free individual tutoring online to disadvantaged students during lock-down. Tutors are university students who volunteer for 3 to 6 hours per week. They were randomly assigned to middle school students, from a list of potential beneficiaries compiled by school principals. Using original survey data collected from students, parents, teachers and tutors, this study finds that the program substantially increased students’ academic performance (by 0.26 SD on average) and that it significantly improved their socio-emotional skills, aspirations, and psychological well-being. Effects are stronger for children from lower socioeconomic status and, in the case of psychological well-being, for immigrant children.
School’s out: experimental evidence on limiting learning loss using “low-tech” in a pandemic

Noam Angrist; Peter Bergman; Moitshepi Matsheng

Published: January 2021
Schools closed extensively during the COVID-19 pandemic and occur in other settings, such as teacher strikes and natural disasters. This paper provides some of the first experimental evidence on strategies to minimize learning loss when schools close. It runs a randomized trial of low-technology interventions – SMS messages and phone calls – with parents to support their child.
Labour market shocks during the COVID-19 pandemic, inequalities and child outcomes

Claudia Hupkau; Ingo E. Isphording; Stephen Machin

Published: December 2020
This study analyzes the effect of negative labour market shocks borne by parents during the Covid-19 crisis on resource and time investments in children and the channels through which negative labour market shocks experienced by parents might affect children. Using data collected in the UK before and during the pandemic, it shows that fathers and mothers that were already disadvantaged were more likely to have suffered negative earnings and employment shocks. These shocks had an immediate intergenerational impact: Children whose fathers reported an earnings drop to zero are significantly less likely to have received additional paid learning resources compared to similar children whose fathers did not experience a drop in earnings.
Learning during the COVID-19 pandemic: it is not who you teach, but how you teach

George Orlov; Douglas McKee; James Berry

Published: October 2020
This study used standardized end-of-course knowledge assessments to examine student learning during the disruptions induced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Examining seven economics courses taught at four US R1 institutions, it found that students performed substantially worse, on average, in Spring 2020 when compared to Spring or Fall 2019.
COVID-19 school closures and parental labor supply in the United States

Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes; Miriam Marcén; Marina Morales

Published: October 2020
This study examines the role of school closures in contributing to the negative labor market impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. It collects detailed daily information on school closures at the school-district level, which it merges to individual level data on various employment and socio- demographic characteristics from the monthly Current Population Survey from January 2019 through May 2020.
Learning at home: distance learning solutions and child development during the COVID-19 lockdown

Hugues Champeaux; Lucia Mangiavacchi; Francesca Marchetta

Published: October 2020
School closures, forced by the COVID-19 crisis in many countries, impacted on children’s lives and their learning process. There will likely be substantial and persistent disparities between families in terms of educational outcomes. Distant learning solutions adopted by schools have been heterogeneous over countries, within countries and between school levels. As a consequence, most of the burden of children’s learning fell on their parents, with likely uneven results depending on the socio-economic characteristics of the family. Using a real time survey data collected in April 2020 and early May in France and Italy, this study estimates child fixed effects models to analyze how the lockdown has affected children’s emotional wellbeing and their home learning process. The analysis also focuses on the role played by online classes or other interactive methods on children’s home learning and emotional status.
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UNICEF Innocenti's Children and COVID-19 Library is a database collecting research from around the world on COVID-19 and its impacts on children and adolescents.


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