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On the scope for work-from-home in high and upper middle-income countries


  • Antonio Estache
  • Simon Tooth


This paper analyses the drivers of the scope for work-from-home (WFH) in high-income and upper-middle-income countries from a government policy perspective rather than from the firms’ or workers’ viewpoints. A simple statistical analysis confirms the important role of policy efforts to ease digital adoption decisions. But it also shows the role of other factors that can be influenced by policy choices. Policies to increase the average level of education of the population help. Labor policies matter as well, although in more complex ways. Their impact on the rate of part-time employment and on the degree of self-employment is statistically significant but with opposite signs. Policies reducing discrimination against women access to the labor market would also favour the scope for WFH

Suggested Citation

  • Antonio Estache & Simon Tooth, 2020. "On the scope for work-from-home in high and upper middle-income countries," Working Papers ECARES 2020-46, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:eca:wpaper:2013/314048

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Adams-Prassl, A. & Boneva, T. & Golin, M. & Rauh, C., 2020. "Work Tasks That Can Be Done From Home: Evidence on Variation Within and Across Occupations and Industries," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 2040, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    2. Maho Hatayama & Mariana Viollaz & Hernan Winkler, 2020. "Jobs’ Amenability to Working from Home: Evidence from Skills Surveys for 53 Countries," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0263, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    3. Charles Gottlieb & Jan Grobovsek & Markus Poschke & Fernando Saltiel, 2020. "Lockdown Accounting," Cahiers de recherche 18-2020, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
    4. Adams-Prassl, Abigail & Boneva, Teodora & Golin, Marta & Rauh, Christopher, 2020. "Work That Can Be Done from Home: Evidence on Variation within and across Occupations and Industries," IZA Discussion Papers 13374, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Baert, Stijn & Lippens, Louis & Moens, Eline & Sterkens, Philippe & Weytjens, Johannes, 2020. "How do we think the COVID-19 crisis will affect our careers (if any remain)?," GLO Discussion Paper Series 520, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    6. Helene Dernis & Petros Gkotsis & Nicola Grassano & Shohei Nakazato & Mariagrazia Squicciarini & Brigitte van Beuzekom & Antonio Vezzani, 2019. "World Corporate Top R&D investors: Shaping the Future of Technologies and of AI," JRC Working Papers JRC117068, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    7. Matteo Sostero & Santo Milasi & John Hurley & Enrique Fernandez-Macias & Martina Bisello, 2020. "Teleworkability and the COVID-19 crisis: a new digital divide?," JRC Working Papers on Labour, Education and Technology 2020-05, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
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    More about this item


    Telework; work-from-home; digitalisation; employment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J48 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Particular Labor Markets; Public Policy
    • J81 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Working Conditions

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