Negative Impacts From the Shift to Online Learning During the COVID-19 Crisis: Evidence from a Statewide Community College System

Authors: Kelli A. Bird, Benjamin Castleman, Gabrielle Lohner

The COVID-19 pandemic led to an abrupt shift from in-person to virtual instruction in Spring 2020. Using a difference-in-differences framework that leverages within-course variation on whether students started their Spring 2020 courses in person or online, we estimate the impact of this shift on the academic performance of Virginia’s community college students. We find that the shift to virtual instruction resulted in a 6.7 percentage point decrease in course completion, driven by increases in both course withdrawal and failure. Faculty experience teaching a course online did not mitigate the negative effects of moving to virtual instruction.

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Keep the Kids Inside: Juvenile Curfews and Urban Gun Violence

Authors: Jennifer L. Doleac, Jillian B. Carr

Gun violence is an important problem across the United States. Due to limited data, it has been difficult to convincingly test the impacts of government policies on the quantity and geography of gunfire. This paper uses a new source of data on gunfire incidents, which does not suffer from selective underreporting common in other crime datasets, to measure the effects of juvenile curfews in Washington, DC.

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