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The Impact of COVID-19 on Gender Equality

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  • Titan Alon

    ()

  • Matthias Doepke

    ()

  • Jane Olmstead-Rumsey

    ()

  • Michèle Tertilt

    ()

Abstract

The economic downturn caused by the current COVID-19 outbreak has substantial implications for gender equality, both during the downturn and the subsequent recovery. Compared to ``regular'' recessions, which affect men's employment more severely than women's employment, the employment drop related to social distancing measures has a large impact on sectors with high female employment shares. In addition, closures of schools and daycare centers have massively increased child care needs, which has a particularly large impact on working mothers. The effects of the crisis on working mothers are likely to be persistent, due to high returns to experience in the labor market. Beyond the immediate crisis, there are opposing forces which may ultimately promote gender equality in the labor market. First, businesses are rapidly adopting flexible work arrangements, which are likely to persist. Second, there are also many fathers who now have to take primary responsibility for child care, which may erode social norms that currently lead to a lopsided distribution of the division of labor in house work and child care.

Suggested Citation

  • Titan Alon & Matthias Doepke & Jane Olmstead-Rumsey & Michèle Tertilt, 2020. "The Impact of COVID-19 on Gender Equality," CRC TR 224 Discussion Paper Series crctr224_2020_163, University of Bonn and University of Mannheim, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:bon:boncrc:crctr224_2020_163
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    RePEc Biblio mentions

    As found on the RePEc Biblio, the curated bibliography for Economics:
    1. > Economics of Welfare > Health Economics > Economics of Pandemics > Specific pandemics > Covid-19 > Economic consequences

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    Cited by:

    1. Sumedha Gupta & Laura Montenovo & Thuy D. Nguyen & Felipe Lozano Rojas & Ian M. Schmutte & Kosali I. Simon & Bruce A. Weinberg & Coady Wing, 2020. "Effects of Social Distancing Policy on Labor Market Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 27280, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Louis-Philippe Beland & Abel Brodeur & Taylor Wright, 2020. "COVID-19, Stay-at-Home Orders and Employment: Evidence from CPS Data," Carleton Economic Papers 20-04, Carleton University, Department of Economics, revised 19 May 2020.
    3. Abel Brodeur & Andrew Clark & Sarah Fleche & Nattavudh Powdthavee, 2020. "COVID-19, Lockdowns and Well-Being: Evidence from Google Trends," Working Papers 2004E, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
    4. Shinnosuke Kikuchi & Sagiri Kitao & Minamo Mikoshiba, 2020. "Who Suffers from the COVID-19 Shocks? Labor Market Heterogeneity and Welfare Consequences in Japan," CARF F-Series CARF-F-490, Center for Advanced Research in Finance, Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo.
    5. KIKUCHI Shinnosuke & KITAO Sagiri & MIKOSHIBA Minamo, 2020. "Heterogeneous Vulnerability to the COVID-19 Crisis and Implications for Inequality in Japan," Discussion papers 20039, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    6. Béland, Louis-Philippe & Brodeur, Abel & Wright, Taylor, 2020. "The Short-Term Economic Consequences of COVID-19: Exposure to Disease, Remote Work and Government Response," GLO Discussion Paper Series 524, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    7. Pietro Biroli & Steven Bosworth & Marina Della Giusta & Amalia Di Girolamo & Sylvia Jaworska & Jeremy Vollen, 2020. "Family Life in Lockdown," Working Papers 2020-051, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    8. Bonacini, Luca & Gallo, Giovanni & Scicchitano, Sergio, 2020. "All that glitters is not gold. Effects of working from home on income inequality at the time of COVID-19," GLO Discussion Paper Series 541, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    9. Tobin Hanspal & Annika Weber & Johannes Wohlfart, 2020. "Exposure to the COVID-19 Stock Market Crash and its Effect on Household Expectations," CESifo Working Paper Series 8244, CESifo.
    10. Laura Montenovo & Xuan Jiang & Felipe Lozano Rojas & Ian M. Schmutte & Kosali I. Simon & Bruce A. Weinberg & Coady Wing, 2020. "Determinants of Disparities in Covid-19 Job Losses," NBER Working Papers 27132, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Andrew, Alison & Cattan, Sarah & Costa Dias, Monica & Farquharson, Christine & Kraftman, Lucy & Krutikova, Sonya & Phimister, Angus & Sevilla, Almudena, 2020. "The Gendered Division of Paid and Domestic Work under Lockdown," IZA Discussion Papers 13500, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. Wei Cheng & Patrick Carlin & Joanna Carroll & Sumedha Gupta & Felipe Lozano Rojas & Laura Montenovo & Thuy D. Nguyen & Ian M. Schmutte & Olga Scrivner & Kosali I. Simon & Coady Wing & Bruce Weinberg, 2020. "Back to Business and (Re)employing Workers? Labor Market Activity During State COVID-19 Reopenings," NBER Working Papers 27419, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Carmen de Paz & Miriam Muller & Ana Maria Munoz Boudet & Isis Gaddis, 2020. "Gender Dimensions of the COVID-19 Pandemic," World Bank Other Operational Studies 33622, The World Bank.
    14. Shinnosuke Kikuchi & Sagiri Kitao & Minamo Mikoshiba, 2020. "Who Suffers from the COVID-19 Shocks? Labor Market Heterogeneity and Welfare Consequences in Japan," CARF F-Series CARF-F-490, Center for Advanced Research in Finance, Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Covid-19; Division of Labor; Business Cycle; Gender Equality;

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General

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