Questions and answers about
the UK economy.

Covid-19 and educational inequality – evidence from Germany

In spring 2020, governments around the globe shut down schools to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus. We conduct a large-scale survey in Germany to study parent-child time use during the educational shutdown. Focusing on differences across parental socioeconomic background, we study whether lower-SES parents are less likely to engage in productive activities with their children (e.g., reading, helping with homework) than their higher-SES counterparts. We will analyze by how much the socioeconomic gap in productive time use changed compared to the pre-shutdown period to find out whether the educational shutdown amplified educational inequality in Germany. Moreover, we ask parents a series of questions about the experiences with their children’s schools in order to investigate the mediating role of schools with respect to the educational inequality observed.

Lead investigator:

Elisabeth Grewenig


ifo Institute

Primary topic:

Schools, universities & training

Secondary topic:

Inequality & poverty

Region of data collection:


Country of data collection


Type of data being collected:

Online survey

Unit of real-time data collection