Child development and distance learning in the age of COVID-19

Hugues Champeaux, Lucia Mangiavacchi, Francesca Marchetta, Luca Piccoli

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School closures, forcibly brought about by the COVID-19 crisis in many countries, have impacted children’s lives and their learning processes. The heterogeneous implementation of distance learning solutions is likely to bring a substantial increase in education inequality, with long term consequences. The present study uses data from a survey collected during Spring 2020 lockdown in France and Italy to analyze parents’ evaluations of their children’s home schooling process and emotional well-being at time of school closure, and the role played by different distance learning methods in shaping these perceptions. While Italian parents have a generally worse judgment of the effects of the lockdown on their children, the use of interactive distance learning methods appears to significantly attenuate their negative perception. This is particularly true for older pupils. French parents rather perceive that interactive methods are effective in mitigating learning losses and psychological distress only for their secondary school children. In both countries, further heterogeneity analysis reveal that parents perceive younger children and boys to suffer more during this period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)659-685
Number of pages27
JournalReview of Economics of the Household
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


  • Children’s education
  • COVID-19
  • Distance learning
  • Education inequality
  • Emotional wellbeing


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