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How many jobs can be done at home?

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  • Dingel, Jonathan I.
  • Neiman, Brent

Abstract

Evaluating the economic impact of “social distancing” measures taken to arrest the spread of COVID-19 raises a fundamental question about the modern economy: how many jobs can be performed at home? We classify the feasibility of working at home for all occupations and merge this classification with occupational employment counts. We find that 37% of jobs in the United States can be performed entirely at home, with significant variation across cities and industries. These jobs typically pay more than jobs that cannot be done at home and account for 46% of all US wages. Applying our occupational classification to 85 other countries reveals that lower-income economies have a lower share of jobs that can be done at home.

Suggested Citation

  • Dingel, Jonathan I. & Neiman, Brent, 2020. "How many jobs can be done at home?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 189(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:189:y:2020:i:c:s0047272720300992
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2020.104235
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Remote work; Telecommuting; Work from home;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • R32 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Other Spatial Production and Pricing Analysis

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