Projections of adult skills and the effect of COVID-19

Özdemir, C., Reiter, C. ORCID:, Yildiz, D. ORCID:, & Goujon, A. ORCID: (2022). Projections of adult skills and the effect of COVID-19. PLoS ONE 17 (11) e0277113. 10.1371/journal.pone.0277113.

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In this paper, we project Skills in Literacy Adjusted Mean Years of Schooling (SLAMYS) for the working age population in 45 countries and quinquennial time periods until 2050 according to various population scenarios. Moreover, we integrate the effect of school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic on these projections. Adult skills are projected using the cohort components method. They can help in assessing the potential consequences of the recent trends for the adult population, particularly the workforce, whose skills are essential for the jobs contributing to economic growth and development outlooks. Our projections are novel as they take into account both the amount of schooling and quality of education and also consider the changes in adult skills through lifetime. Projections show that the adult skills gap between countries in the Global North and countries in the Global South will likely continue to exist by 2050, even under very optimistic assumptions–but may widen or narrow depending on the demographic development trajectories specific to each country. Moreover, the loss of learning due to school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbates inequalities between countries. Particularly, in countries where schools have been closed for a prolonged period of time and the infrastructure for effective online schooling is lacking, the skills of cohorts who were in school during the pandemic have been severely affected. The fact that the duration of school closures has been longer in many low- and middle-income countries is a serious concern for achieving global human capital equality. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is projected to erase decades-long gains in adult skills for affected cohorts unless policies to mitigate learning loss are implemented immediately.

Item Type: Article
Research Programs: Population and Just Societies (POPJUS)
Population and Just Societies (POPJUS) > Multidimensional Demographic Modeling (MDM)
Population and Just Societies (POPJUS) > Migration and Sustainable Development (MIG)
Population and Just Societies (POPJUS) > Social Cohesion, Health, and Wellbeing (SHAW)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2022 10:07
Last Modified: 24 Nov 2022 10:07

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