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School Closures, Teleworking, and Remote Schooling During the Pandemic

Mark A. Loewenstein


The pandemic resulted in a very large increase in teleworking. In addition, school closings led to a large number of students attending school remotely. An NLSY97 COVID-19 pandemic supplement in the spring of 2021 makes it possible to examine the relationship between these two occurrences. My findings indicate that remote schooling led to a sizable increase in the likelihood of working at home 10 hours or more. After controlling for endogeneity, there is no indication of reverse causation. The responsiveness of teleworking to remote schooling depended crucially on how suitable an individual’s job was to teleworking. In jobs that were very poorly suited to teleworking, remote schooling had no effect on the likelihood that an individual teleworked. But in jobs that were well suited, the effect on the likelihood of teleworking was as great as 13 percentage points. Furthermore, remote schooling had a substantially larger effect on the likelihood that women worked from home than the likelihood that men worked at home. While parents no longer need to contend with remote schooling, the flexibility allowed by jobs that are well suited for teleworking enables individuals in such jobs to better meet the demands of childcare and other household responsibilities.