Overall, the cost-benefit analysis found that total costs in lost wages outweigh benefits measured in risk of death reduction by a factor of 14 to 1. The paper also touches on distributional impacts since further school closings would amount to a relatively small cost exacted on a large number of school-age children in exchange for a large benefit for a small number of elderly residents.
“More than nine out of ten COVID deaths in Ohio are among people age sixty and up and we have yet to record a COVID death in Ohio among school-age children,” said Moore. “Meanwhile, the average student loses out on $12,000-27,000 in lifetime earnings by losing four months of schooling. School closings are in essence an intergenerational transfer.”