COVID-19 within families amplifies the prosociality gap between adolescents of high and low socioeconomic status

Peer-reviewed Publication

Daniel L. Chen, Matthias Sutter, and Camille Terrier

November 2021

COVID-19 has had worse health, education, and labor market effects on groups with low socioeconomic status (SES) than on those with high SES. Little is known, however, about whether COVID-19 has also had differential effects on noncognitive skills that are important for life outcomes. Using panel data from before and during the pandemic, the researchers show that COVID-19 affects one key noncognitive skill, that is, prosociality. While prosociality is already lower for low-SES students prior to the pandemic, the results show that COVID-19 infections within families amplify the prosociality gap between French high school students of high and low SES by almost tripling its size in comparison to pre–COVID-19 levels.