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Education in the times of a pandemic: parental socioeconomic characteristics and time spent educating children

Stefani Milovanska-Farrington (Department of Economics, The University of Tampa, Tampa, FL, USA) (IZA Institute of Labor Economics, Bonn, Germany)

Journal of Economic Studies

ISSN: 0144-3585

Article publication date: 27 May 2021

Issue publication date: 6 May 2022




This research explores the impact of parental educational attainment, race, ethnicity, gender and employment on the time parents spend educating their children during the COVID-19 pandemic.


School closures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 have affected billions of students worldwide, and have had an impact on the economy and the society. With classes being cancelled or taught remotely, the importance of parental intervention in children's education has accelerated.


The authors find that more educated parents allocate more time on child education, while higher income and employment have an adverse effect. Fathers are likely to spend more time than mothers in teaching and educating their children during COVID-19.

Practical implications

The findings have implications in identifying children whose education suffers the most in times of a pandemic and determining the main target group of policies designed to train children, encourage parental involvement and support children's educational development.


This is the first paper that examines the variations in parental time with children across social and economic subgroups during the COVID-19 pandemic. The authors also focus on the time parents spend educating their children rather than just supervising them. The authors additionally examine the determinants of the time children study on their own. Finally, the analysis is novel because it is based on the newest available data collected to examine the trends and experiences of individuals in the United States triggered by COVID-19.



Funding statement: This research did not receive any specific funding.

Declaration of interest statement: The author declares no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval: The author declares that this article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


Milovanska-Farrington, S. (2022), "Education in the times of a pandemic: parental socioeconomic characteristics and time spent educating children", Journal of Economic Studies, Vol. 49 No. 4, pp. 716-734.



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