Sep 8, 2020 - Economy & Business

OECD: U.S. economy could lose $15.3 trillion over next century due to school closures

empty student classroom with desks

Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

School closures from the coronavirus pandemic could cause global GDP to be 1.5% lower for the remainder of the century, resulting in a $15 trillion loss for the U.S. economy, according to a report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Why it matters: The OECD projects that missed time in the classroom would result in a loss of the skills needed to boost economic productivity.

The big picture: Children are having to rely on their own resources to learn despite efforts from schools and educators to adapt lesson plans. Meanwhile, many parents have been unable to return to work because they can't find the childcare usually provided by schools.

Yes, but: The OECD notes that its estimates only calculate how the current school year affects the economy, and assumes that future cohorts of students will return to normal schooling.

  • "If schools are slow to return to prior levels of performance, the growth losses will be proportionately higher," the authors write.
Go deeper