Alfano, Vincenzo Ercolano, Salvatore Cicatiello, Lorenzo
Year of Publication:
CESifo Working Paper No. 8784
Schools have been very central in the debate about COVID-19. On one hand, there have been many supporters of the argument to keep them open, for their importance for the youngsters, and for the effort many countries played in establishing protocols to keep them safe. On the other hand, a counter-argument supported by several other stakeholders, has been that being a major occasion of aggregation between teenager and adults accompanying their children, and being a major occasion of congestion per the public transportation, keeping the schools open favours the spread of the virus. In this article, by the means of a quantitative analysis that exploits the quasi experimental setting offered by the scattered opening that schools have had in Italy, we aim to shed some light on the subject. More precisely, a synthetic control method approach suggests that Bolzano, the first province in Italy to have opened the schools after the summer break, has way more cases than its synthetic counterfactual, built from a donor pool constituted by the other Italian provinces. Results seem to confirm that that opening the schools causes and increase in the infections, and this has to be taken into account by the policymakers.
Covid-19 synthetic control method schools opening Italy coronavirus