A group of leading economists are predicting that American economic productivity will be reduced by 3.6% over the next three decades as a result of COVID-induced school closures.
The Penn Wharton Budget Model — a nonpartisan public policy research initiative at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School — found that a lack of workforce development due to the school closures will severely limit long-term economic growth in the United States.
According to the PWBM model, an extra month of schooling added on to the end of this year would offer a 16-to-1 return for the United States economy:
PWBM estimates that the learning loss from school closures reduced GDP by 3.6 percent in 2050. Extending the 2021-22 school year by one month would cost about $75 billion nationally but would limit the reduction in GDP to 3.1 percent. This smaller reduction in GDP produces a net present value gain of $1.2 trillion over the next three decades, equal to about a