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The Role of Work-from-Home in the Gender Asymmetries of COVID-19 : An Analysis for Latin AmericaBased on High-Frequency Surveys


  • Berniell,Inés
  • Gasparini,Leonardo Carlos
  • Marchionni,Mariana
  • Viollaz,Mariana


This paper studies factors that could account for the asymmetric impact of the COVID-19 pandemicin Latin America, by exploiting microdata from the World Bank’s high-frequency phone household surveys conductedimmediately after the onset of the pandemic. The paper codifies the occupation variables in these surveys,constructs measures of the individual’s potential for work from home, and estimates fixed-effects models of job lossand other labor outcomes. In line with previous studies, the findings show that the impact of the COVID-19 shock was (i)harder for women and (ii) strongly decreasing in the ability to work from home. Importantly, the analysis finds that themitigating effect of working from home on the severity of the impact was especially relevant for women with children.These effects were larger in countries/periods in which the containment measures implemented by governments against thespread of the disease were more stringent. The paper also provides suggestive evidence on a plausible mechanismunderlying the results: women with children were more likely to stay home due to school closures and the traditionalintrahousehold distribution of childcare responsibilities, and thus the possibility of working from home was crucialfor them to keep their jobs.

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  • Berniell,Inés & Gasparini,Leonardo Carlos & Marchionni,Mariana & Viollaz,Mariana, 2021. "The Role of Work-from-Home in the Gender Asymmetries of COVID-19 : An Analysis for Latin AmericaBased on High-Frequency Surveys," Policy Research Working Paper Series 9887, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:9887

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Abel Brodeur & David Gray & Anik Islam & Suraiya Bhuiyan, 2021. "A literature review of the economics of COVID‐19," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(4), pages 1007-1044, September.
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