Jessamyn Schaller Examines School Closures and Labor Supply of Parents
Employment in the US declined early in the pandemic, and has remained below its pre-pandemic level as the number of COVID-19 cases has risen and declined, and as the benefits for those who are not working have been scaled back from early-2020 levels. Concerns about contracting the virus, disruptions in school and childcare arrangements, and sectoral shifts in labor demand have been advanced as potential explanations. In a new study (29660), NBER research associates Benjamin Hansen of the University of Oregon and Jessamyn Schaller of Claremont McKenna College, and Joseph Sabia of San Diego State University, examine the impact of school closures on the labor supply of parents. They construct highly disaggregate measures of the extent to which K-12 schools were open at various times during the pandemic, and find a substantial positive effect of school opening on employment of married women with children. Schaller summarizes the study's findings in the video above. An archive of NBER videos on pandemic-related research may be found here.