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The green and the dark side of distance learning: from environmental quality to economic inequality

Cascavilla, Alessandro and Caferra, Rocco and Morone, Andrea (2021): The green and the dark side of distance learning: from environmental quality to economic inequality.

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Abstract

We assess the impact of e-learning during the COVID-19 analyzing a sample of Italian university students. In particular, we point out how the subjective distance learning evaluation is determined according to: i) students’ profile and different proxies of monetary incentives favoring distance learning, ii) pro-environmental preferences and iii) socio-economic concerns in the light of potential unequal access to digital learning resources. Our results show prominent the impact that green preferences have in fostering a post COVID-19 e-learning era, while some doubts on the potential future economic inequalities generated by an unequal access to educational resources are raised. From here, different policy implications are proposed to balance the pros and cons of distance learning, considering both social, financial, and technological factors.

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