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The role of schools in transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus: quasi-experimental evidence from Germany

Von Bismarck-Osten, Clara; Borusyak, Kirill; Schonberg, Uta; (2022) The role of schools in transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus: quasi-experimental evidence from Germany. Economic Policy , Article eiac001. 10.1093/epolic/eiac001. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper considers the role of school closures in the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. To isolate the impact of the closures from other containment measures and identify a causal effect, we exploit variation in the start and end dates of the summer and fall school holidays across the 16 federal states in Germany using a difference-in-differences design with staggered adoption. We show that neither the summer closures nor the closures in the fall had a significant containing effect on the spread of SARS-CoV-2 among children or a spill-over effect on older generations. There is also no evidence that the return to school at full capacity after the summer holidays increased infections among children or adults. Instead, we find that the number of children infected increased during the last weeks of the summer holiday and decreased in the first weeks after schools reopened, a pattern we attribute to travel returnees.

Type: Article
Title: The role of schools in transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus: quasi-experimental evidence from Germany
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/epolic/eiac001
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1093/epolic/eiac001
Language: English
Additional information: © CEPR, CESifo, Sciences Po, 2022. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. For commercial re-use, please contact journals.permissions@oup.com
Keywords: Social Sciences, Economics, Business & Economics, COVID economics, school closures, public health, I10, I18, I28
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Economics
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10145594
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