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Study: DoE Pandemic Failure will Cost Hawaii $31B
By Selected News Articles @ 2:41 AM :: 1839 Views :: Hawaii Statistics, COVID-19

The Economic Cost Of The Pandemic: State By State

from Hoover Institution, February, 2024 


Data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) now shows the significant impact of the pandemic on learning. The abstract nature of test score declines, however, often obscures the huge economic impact of these learning losses.  NAEP results indicate large differences in learning losses across states, and this analysis provides state-by-state estimates of the economic impacts of the losses.

Students on average face 2-9 percent lower lifetime incomes depending on the state in which they live.  By virtue of the lower skilled future workforce, the states themselves are estimated to face a GDP that is 0.6 to 2.9 percent lower each year for the remainder of the 21st Century compared to the learning expectations derived from pre-pandemic years.  

The present value of future losses for states depends directly on the size of each state’s economy.  At the extreme, California is estimated to have lost $1.2 trillion dollars because of learning losses during the pandemic.  

These losses are permanent unless a state’s schools can get better than their pre-pandemic levels.  

Read the paper: The Economic Cost of the Pandemic: State by State

  *   *   *   *   * 


by Eric A. Hanushek

Hawaii had lower learning losses than the nation as a whole, but the economic impacts on affected youth and on the state remain sizable….

Much of the discussion of the educational impact of the pandemic has been phrased in terms such as test score points or standard deviations that have little meaning to most people. But the abstract nature of the discussion belies both the seriousness of the problems and the certainty of economic harm that lies ahead.

This analysis discusses the potential economic impact of the learning losses suffered during the pandemic. To assess the impact of the pandemic, we compare how the cohort of students in 2022 performed relative to the cohort of students in 2019. We call this comparison the “learning loss” from the pandemic. This learning drop, it turns out, has large significance for individuals and for states, because history suggests the very significant economic loss that is likely to be associated with this achievement drop.

The assessment of economic impact begins with a few simple facts: Those with higher achievement and greater cognitive skills earn more, and the value of higher achievement persists across a student’s entire work life. Moreover, the economic growth of states is highly dependent on the quality of the state’s labor force. The pandemic implies that the future workforce will be less prepared to contribute to economic growth.

Even if education returns to its pre-pandemic quality, there is a cohort of students that will move through the future labor force with lower skills and achievement than those both before and after them. As detailed on the following page, this cohort will have lower lifetime earnings, and their reduced skills will, by historical observations, lead to a slowdown in growth (relative to what would have occurred without the pandemic).

For the state of Hawaii, our assessment is that COVID-19 learning losses will result in a total economic loss of 1.2 percent of GDP over the twenty-first century, a loss, in present value terms, of $31.3 billion. Hawaii students in the COVID cohort can expect on average 3.7 percent lower lifetime earnings.


History indicates that the economic losses will be permanent unless the schools get better. Just returning schools to their pre-pandemic performance levels will not erase the lost learning. Recovering from the pandemic requires swift and decisive improvements to the schools.

read … Hawaii Report  

KHON: Pandemic learning loss to hurt more than Hawaii's students (

CB: Pandemic Learning Loss Could Cost Hawaii Students Billions In Future Earnings 

SA: Hawaii students’ learning loss from COVID may cut wages 3.7% lifetime


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