Daniel L. Chen, Matthias Sutter, and Camille Terrier
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.
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