Cost–Benefit Analysis of Face-to-Face Closure of Schools to Control COVID-19 in the Philippines

Publication | December 2020

This brief models the effectiveness of closing face-to-face schooling to help contain COVID-19 in the Philippines. It finds much higher health and economic costs than benefits from untargeted closures, and recommends alternatives.

A crucial choice facing many governments is whether to use school face-to-face closures for an extended period to help contain COVID-19. The analysis in this brief uses an age-structured epidemiological model applied to the case of the Philippines to underpin cost-benefit analysis. It finds that the overall health and economic costs of national face-to-face school closure are about 70 times higher than the COVID-19 control benefits, assuming that other control efforts continue.

People’s education strongly influences their health behavior throughout their lives. The analysis shows that long-term mortality increases due to less effective education from face-to-face closure are many times higher than the number of lives saved from COVID-19 in the short run.

There is ample scope to use targeted measures to minimize the COVID-19 risks of resuming face-to-face classes while benefiting people’s overall health.

Additional Details

  • Economics
  • Education
  • Pre-primary and basic education
  • Education sector development
  • Secondary Education
  • Tertiary and higher education
  • Health
  • COVID-19
  • Philippines
  • 12
  • 8.5 x 11
  • BRF200405-2
  • 978-92-9262-611-2 (print)
  • 978-92-9262-612-9 (electronic)
  • 2071-7202 (print)
  • 2218-2675 (electronic)

Subscribe to our monthly digest of latest ADB publications.

Follow ADB Publications on social media.