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Parental well-being in times of Covid-19 in Germany

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  • Huebener, Mathias
  • Waights, Sevrin
  • Spiess, C. Katharina
  • Siegel, Nico A.
  • Wagner, Gert G.

Abstract

We examine the effects of Covid-19 and related restrictions on individuals with dependent children in Germany. We specifically focus on the role of day care center and school closures, which may be regarded as a “disruptive exogenous shock” to family life. We make use of a novel representative survey of parental well-being collected in May and June 2020 in Germany, when schools and day care centers were closed but while other measures had been relaxed and new infections were low. In our descriptive analysis, we compare well-being during this period with a pre-crisis period for different groups. In a difference-in-differences design, we compare the change for individuals with children to the change for individuals without children, accounting for unrelated trends as well as potential survey mode and context effects. We find that the crisis lowered the relative well-being of individuals with children, especially for individuals with young children, for women, and for persons with lower secondary schooling qualifications. Our results suggest that public policy measures taken to contain Covid-19 can have large effects on family well-being, with implications for child development and parental labor market outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Huebener, Mathias & Waights, Sevrin & Spiess, C. Katharina & Siegel, Nico A. & Wagner, Gert G., 2021. "Parental well-being in times of Covid-19 in Germany," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 113559, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:113559
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    2. Deole, Sumit S. & Deter, Max & Huang, Yue, 2023. "Home sweet home: Working from home and employee performance during the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(C).
    3. Deole, Sumit S. & Deter, Max & Huang, Yue, 2021. "Home Sweet Home: Working from home and employee performance during the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK," GLO Discussion Paper Series 791, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    4. Schüller, Simone & Steinberg, Hannah S., 2022. "Parents under stress: Evaluating emergency childcare policies during the first COVID-19 lockdown in Germany," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(C).
    5. Werner, Katharina & Woessmann, Ludger, 2021. "The Legacy of COVID-19 in Education," IZA Discussion Papers 14796, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Frondel, Manuel & Osberghaus, Daniel & Sommer, Stephan, 2021. "Corona and the stability of personal traits and preferences: Evidence from Germany," Ruhr Economic Papers 903, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    7. Mathias Huebener & Sevrin Waights & C. Katharina Spiess & Nico A. Siegel & Gert G. Wagner, 2021. "Parental well-being in times of Covid-19 in Germany," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 91-122, March.
    8. Loo Seng Neo & Jean Yi Colette Tan & Tierra Wan Yi Chew, 2022. "The Influence of COVID-19 on Women’s Perceptions of Work-Family Conflict in Singapore," Social Sciences, MDPI, vol. 11(2), pages 1-13, February.
    9. Bansak, Cynthia & Grossbard, Shoshana & Wong, Ho-Po Crystal, 2022. "Mothers’ caregiving during COVID: The impact of marital property laws on women’s labor force status," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 47(C).
    10. Bau, Natalie & Khanna, Gaurav & Low, Corinne & Shah, Manisha & Sharmin, Sreyashi & Voena, Alessandra, 2022. "Women’s well-being during a pandemic and its containment," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 156(C).
    11. Lea Immel & Florian Neumeier & Andreas Peichl, 2022. "The Unequal Consequences of the Covid‐19 Pandemic: Evidence from a Large Representative German Population Survey," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 68(2), pages 471-496, June.
    12. Lawrence M Berger & Giulia Ferrari & Marion Leturcq & Lidia Panico & Anne Solaz, 2021. "COVID-19 lockdowns and demographically-relevant Google Trends: A cross-national analysis," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 16(3), pages 1-28, March.
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    14. Sandner, Malte & Anger, Silke & Dietrich, Hans & Bernhard, Sarah & Patzina, Alexander, 2021. "The impact of Covid-19 related school policies on students in their final high school years," VfS Annual Conference 2021 (Virtual Conference): Climate Economics 242462, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    15. Illing, Hannah & Oberfichtner, Michael & Pestel, Nico & Schmieder, Johannes F. & Trenkle, Simon, 2022. "Geschlechtsspezifische Arbeitsmarktwirkung der Covid-19-Pandemie," IZA Standpunkte 102, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    16. Natalia Danzer & Mathias Huebener & Astrid Pape & C. Katharina Spieß & Nico A. Siegel & Gert G. Wagner, 2021. "Cracking under Pressure? Gender Role Attitudes toward Maternal Employment in Times of a Pandemic," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1951, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    17. Ana Tribin & Karen García-Rojas & Paula Herrera-Idarraga & Leonardo Fabio Morales & Natalia Ramirez-Bustamante, 2023. "Shecession: The Downfall of Colombian Women During the Covid-19 Pandemic," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(4), pages 158-193, October.
    18. Li, Jianghong & Bünning, Mareike & Kaiser, Till & Hipp, Lena, 2022. "Who suffered most? Parental stress and mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany [Wer leidet am stärksten? Erziehungsstress und psychische Belastungen bei Eltern während der COVID-19 Pa," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, vol. 34(1), pages 281-309.
    19. Shinsuke Asakawa & Fumio Ohtake, 2021. "Impact of Temporary School Closure Due to COVID-19 on the Academic Achievement of Elementary School Students," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 21-14, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics.
    20. Ifeanyichukwu Michael Abada & Paul Hezekiah Omeh & Obinna Augustine Ovaga & Ikedi John Ugwuanyi, 2022. "Fiscal Federalism and Challenges of National Development in Nigeria," European Journal of Social Sciences Articles, Revistia Research and Publishing, vol. 5, January -.
    21. ASAKAWA Shinsuke & OHTAKE Fumio, 2022. "Impact of COVID-19 School Closures on the Cognitive and Non-cognitive Skills of Elementary School Students," Discussion papers 22075, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    22. Sebastian Dullien & Bettina Kohlrausch, 2021. "Dissecting the COVID19 supply shock: Which role did school closures play?," IMK Working Paper 207-2021, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    23. Inés Berniell & Anne Laferrère & Pedro Mira & Elizaveta Pronkina, 2023. "Robinson Crusoe: less or more depressed? With whom and where to live in a pandemic if you are above 50," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 435-459, June.

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    Keywords

    children; COMPASS; coronavirus; Covid-19; day care closures; well-being; family; school closures; SOEP;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • H75 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General

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