According to a new study published as a working paper by the NBER, the harsh school lockdowns in response to COVID-19 cost Americans 13.8 million years in lost life. Just the News reports:
A working paper that examined how U.S. states responded to the COVID-19 pandemic found strict lockdowns and other COVID-19 policies did little to prevent COVID-19 deaths, but those economic restrictions and school closures proved costly in other ways.
“School closures may ultimately prove to be the most costly policy decision of the pandemic era in both economic and mortality terms,” University of Chicago economist Casey Mulligan and fellow authors Stephen Moore and Phil Kerpen of the Committee to Unleash Prosperity wrote in the paper.
“One study found that school closures at the end of the previous 2019-2020 school year are associated with 13.8 million years of life lost. An [National Institutes of Health] analysis found that life expectancy for high school graduates is 4 to 6 years longer than high school dropouts,” the authors wrote. “The [Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development] estimates that learning losses from pandemic era school closures could cause a 3% decline in lifetime earnings, and that a loss of just one third of a year of learning has a long-term economic impact of $14 trillion.”
The report noted that “Unlike mortality or economic outcomes, closing public schools was entirely under the control of policymakers. Almost all private schools were open.”
The National Bureau of Economic Research working paper looked at how states fared on health outcomes, economic performance and impact on education. It then ranked the combined performance of all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Utah, Nebraska, Vermont, Montana, South Dakota, Florida, New Hampshire, Maine, Arkansas and Idaho ranked in the top 10. At the bottom were Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Nevada, Maryland, Illinois, California, New Mexico, New York, the District of Columbia and New Jersey.
If you’re willing to fight for Main Street America, click here to sign up for the Richardcyoung.com free weekly email.