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COVID-19: A Crisis of the Female Self-Employed

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  • Daniel Graeber
  • Alexander S. Kritikos
  • Johannes Seebauer

Abstract

We investigate how the economic consequences of the pandemic, and of the government-mandated measures to contain its spread, affected the self-employed relative to employed individuals in Germany and, secondly, to what extent the female self-employed were more strongly hit than their male counterparts. For our analysis, we use representative, real-time survey data where respondents are asked about their situation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our findings indicate that self-employed individuals were much more likely to suffer income losses than employees. Among the self-employed, women were 35% more likely to experience income losses than men, as women are disproportionately working in industries that are more severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We conclude that future policy measures intended to mitigate such shocks should account for this variation in economic hardship.

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  • Daniel Graeber & Alexander S. Kritikos & Johannes Seebauer, 2020. "COVID-19: A Crisis of the Female Self-Employed," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1903, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp1903
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    2. Marco Caliendo & Daniel Graeber & Alexander S. Kritikos & Johannes Seebauer, 2022. "Pandemic Depression: COVID-19 and the Mental Health of the Self-Employed," CEPA Discussion Papers 46, Center for Economic Policy Analysis.
    3. Benedikt Janzen & Doina Maria Radulescu, 2021. "Effects of Covid-19 Related Government Response Stringency and Support Policies: Evidence from European Firms," CESifo Working Paper Series 9116, CESifo.
    4. Yacine Belghitar & Andrea Moro & Nemanja Radić, 2022. "When the rainy day is the worst hurricane ever: the effects of governmental policies on SMEs during COVID-19," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 58(2), pages 943-961, February.
    5. Kay, Rosemarie & Welter, Friederike, 2021. "Female and male entrepreneurs in Germany: How did the coronavirus pandemic affect their businesses?," Working Papers 01/21, Institut für Mittelstandsforschung (IfM) Bonn.
    6. Mindes, Samuel C.H. & Lewin, Paul, 2021. "Self-employment through the COVID-19 pandemic: An analysis of linked monthly CPS data," Journal of Business Venturing Insights, Elsevier, vol. 16(C).
    7. Daniel Graeber & Alexander S. Kritikos & Johannes Seebauer, 2021. "COVID-19: a crisis of the female self-employed," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 34(4), pages 1141-1187, October.
    8. Robert Fairlie & Frank M. Fossen, 2022. "The early impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on business sales," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 58(4), pages 1853-1864, April.
    9. Panayiota Lyssiotou & Ruzica Savcic, 2022. "Parents' Time Allocation in Different Phases of the Covid-19 Pandemic: Evidence from the UK and Implications for Gender Equality," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 03-2022, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
    10. Scott, Douglas & Freund, Richard & Favara, Marta & Porter, Catherine & Sanchez, Alan, 2021. "Unpacking the Post-lockdown Employment Recovery of Young Women in the Global South," IZA Discussion Papers 14829, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    11. Alejandra Rodríguez Sánchez & Anette Fasang & Susan Harkness, 2021. "Gender division of housework during the COVID-19 pandemic: Temporary shocks or durable change?," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 45(43), pages 1297-1316.
    12. Schneck, Stefan, 2021. "Income loss among the self-employed: Implications for individual wellbeing and pandemic policy measures," Working Papers 03/21, Institut für Mittelstandsforschung (IfM) Bonn.
    13. Joern Block & Alexander S. Kritikos & Maximilian Priem & Caroline Stiel, 2020. "Emergency Aid for Self-Employed in the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Flash in the Pan?," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1924, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    14. Marie Madeleine Meurer & Matthias Waldkirch & Peter Kalum Schou & Eliane Léontine Bucher & Katrin Burmeister-Lamp, 2022. "Digital affordances: how entrepreneurs access support in online communities during the COVID-19 pandemic," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 58(2), pages 637-663, February.
    15. Kabir Dasgupta & Alexander Plum, 2022. "Skills, Economic Crises and the Labour Market," Working Papers 2022-01, Auckland University of Technology, Department of Economics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Self-employed; COVID-19; income; gender; representative real-time survey data; decomposition methods;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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