Document Type


Publication Date



The transmission of COVID-19 suddenly shifted most school classes to online lectures, and these unexpected changes often exacerbated existing imbalances by region and school. Our study used land price data as a proxy for regional wealth and empirically examined the inflation of education inequality between the areas with high and low land prices during the COVID-19 pandemic in South Korea. The gaps in the average high school Math and English scores between 2019 and 2020 (Y1 effect) and 2019 and 2021 (Y2 effect) are used as the main educational outcomes. We utilized the spatial difference-in-difference (DID) method to reflect the spatial autocorrelation on the school-level distribution of the score changes. The impact of the online class conversion on student performances was found to be significantly different between the regions with low and high land price and was more noticeable for the Math score during the first year of the pandemic. During the second year of the pandemic (2021), the scores increased in both regions, but the regional gap remained persistent. Evidence-based policies should be implemented to enhance regional educational conditions and resources, which, in turn, should prevent educational inequality across the regions stemming from the conversion to online classes.


© 2023 by the authors.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Publication Title



Included in

Education Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.