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From Mancession to Shecession: Women’s Employment in Regular and Pandemic Recessions

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  • Titan Alon
  • Sena Coskun
  • Matthias Doepke
  • David Koll
  • Michèle Tertilt

Abstract

We examine the impact of the global recession triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic on women’s versus men’s employment. Whereas recent recessions in advanced economies had a disproportionate impact on men’s employment, giving rise to the moniker “mancessions,” we show that the pandemic recession of 2020 was a “shecession” with larger employment declines among women in most countries. We examine the causes behind this pattern using micro data from several national labor force surveys, and show that both the composition of women’s employment across industries and occupations as well as increased childcare needs during closures of schools and daycare centers made important contributions. Gender gaps in the employment impact of the pandemic arise almost entirely among workers who are unable to work from home. Among telecommuters a different kind of gender gap arises: women working from home during the pandemic spent more work time also doing childcare and experienced greater productivity reductions than men. We identify two key challenges for future research. First, why is the pandemic gender gap pervasive, i.e., why did women experience larger employment reductions than men even after accounting for industry/occupation and childcare effects? Second, how will the pandemic shape gender equality in a post-pandemic labor market that will likely continue to be characterized by pervasive telecommuting?

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  • Titan Alon & Sena Coskun & Matthias Doepke & David Koll & Michèle Tertilt, 2021. "From Mancession to Shecession: Women’s Employment in Regular and Pandemic Recessions," CRC TR 224 Discussion Paper Series crctr224_2021_301, University of Bonn and University of Mannheim, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:bon:boncrc:crctr224_2021_301
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    Cited by:

    1. Casey B. Mulligan, 2021. "The incidence and magnitude of the health costs of in-person schooling during the COVID-19 pandemic," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 188(3), pages 303-332, September.
    2. HOSHI Kisho & KASAHARA Hiroyuki & MAKIOKA Ryo & SUZUKI Michio & TANAKA Satoshi, 2021. "The Heterogeneous Effects of COVID-19 on Labor Markets: People's Movement and Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions," Discussion papers 21045, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    3. Danzer, Natalia & Huebener, Mathias & Pape, Astrid & Spiess, C. Katharina & Siegel, Nico A. & Wagner, Gert G., 2021. "Cracking under Pressure? Gender Role Attitudes toward Maternal Employment in Times of a Pandemic," IZA Discussion Papers 14471, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Brzezinski, Michal, 2021. "The Impact of Past Pandemics on Economic and Gender Inequalities," OSF Preprints zc8gy, Center for Open Science.
    5. Kugler,Maurice David & Viollaz,Mariana & Vasconcellos Archer Duque,Daniel & Gaddis,Isis & Newhouse,David Locke & Palacios-Lopez,Amparo & Weber,Michael, 2021. "How Did the COVID-19 Crisis Affect Different Types of Workers in the Developing World ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 9703, The World Bank.
    6. Loukas Karabarbounis, 2021. "Comment on "From Mancession to Shecession: Women's Employment in Regular and Pandemic Recessions"," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2021, volume 36, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Jaeger, David A. & Arellano-Bover, Jaime & Karbownik, Krzysztof & Martínez Matute, Marta & Nunley, John M. & Seals, Jr., R. Alan & Almunia, Miguel & Alston, Mackenzie & Becker, Sascha O. & Beneito, Pi, 2021. "The Global COVID-19 Student Survey: First Wave Results," IZA Discussion Papers 14419, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. Davide Fiaschi & Cristina Tealdi, 2021. "Young people between education and the labour market during the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy," Papers 2106.08296, arXiv.org.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General

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