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Working From Home Under COVID-19: Who Is Affected? Evidence From Latin American and Caribbean Countries

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  • Delaporte, Isaure
  • Peña, Werner

Abstract

Millions of individuals are required to work from home as part of national efforts to fight COVID-19. To evaluate the employment impact of the pandemic, an important point is whether individuals are able to work from home. This paper estimates the share of jobs that can be performed at home in 23 Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries as well as examines the workers' characteristics associated with such jobs. To carry out this analysis, this paper uses rich harmonised household surveys and presents two measures of teleworkability. The first measure of the feasibility of working from home is borrowed from Dingel and Neiman (2020), while the second closely follows the methodology of Saltiel (2020). We use the second measure as our benchmark, as it is based on a more representative task content of occupations for LAC countries. We find that the share of individuals who are able to work from home varies from 7% in Guatemala to 16% in the Bahamas. We document considerable variation in the potential to work from home across occupations, industries, regions and workers' socioeconomic characteristics. Our results show that some individuals are better positioned to cope with the current situation than others. This highlights the need to assist the most vulnerable workers in the context of the global pandemic.

Suggested Citation

  • Delaporte, Isaure & Peña, Werner, 2020. "Working From Home Under COVID-19: Who Is Affected? Evidence From Latin American and Caribbean Countries," GLO Discussion Paper Series 528, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:528
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dingel, Jonathan I. & Neiman, Brent, 2020. "How many jobs can be done at home?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 189(C).
    2. Charles Gottlieb & Jan Grobovsek & Markus Poschke, 2020. "Working from Home across Countries," Cahiers de recherche 07-2020, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
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    RePEc Biblio mentions

    As found on the RePEc Biblio, the curated bibliography for Economics:
    1. > Economics of Welfare > Health Economics > Economics of Pandemics > Specific pandemics > Covid-19 > Economic consequences > Employment and Work > Work from home
    2. > Economics of Welfare > Health Economics > Economics of Pandemics > Specific pandemics > Covid-19 > Emerging markets

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    Cited by:

    1. Ainaa, Carmen & Brunetti, Irene & Mussida, Chiara & Scicchitano, Sergio, 2021. "Who lost the most? Distributive effects of COVID-19 pandemic," GLO Discussion Paper Series 829, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    2. Marouani, Mohamed Ali & Minh, Phuong Le, 2020. "The first victims of Covid-19 in developing countries? The most vulnerable workers to the lockdown of the Tunisian economy," GLO Discussion Paper Series 581, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    3. Leonardo Fabio Morales & Leonardo Bonilla‐Mejía & Jose Pulido & Luz A. Flórez & Didier Hermida & Karen L. Pulido‐Mahecha & Francisco Lasso‐Valderrama, 2022. "Effects of the COVID‐19 pandemic on the Colombian labour market: Disentangling the effect of sector‐specific mobility restrictions," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 55(S1), pages 308-357, February.
    4. Isaure Delaporte & Julia Escobar & Werner Peña, 2021. "The distributional consequences of social distancing on poverty and labour income inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 34(4), pages 1385-1443, October.
    5. Crowley, Frank & Daly, Hannah & Doran, Justin & Ryan, Geraldine & Caulfield, Brian, 2021. "The impact of labour market disruptions and transport choice on the environment during COVID-19," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 185-195.
    6. Gustavo Leyva & Israel Mora, 2021. "How High (Low) are the Possibilities of Teleworking in Mexico?," Working Papers 2021-15, Banco de México.
    7. Folinas, Sotiris & Duquenne, Marie - Noelle & Metaxas, Theodore, 2020. "Opportunities in the Hospitality Industry in a masked, and rubber-gloved world," MPRA Paper 105584, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 03 Jun 2020.
    8. Olga Pilipczuk, 2021. "Determinants of Managerial Competences Transformation in the Polish Energy Industry," Energies, MDPI, vol. 14(20), pages 1-27, October.
    9. Cecilia Peluffo & Mariana Viollaz, 2021. "Intra-household exposure to labor market risk in the time of Covid-19: lessons from Mexico," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 327-351, June.
    10. Duman, Anil, 2020. "Wage Losses and Inequality in Developing Countries: labor market and distributional consequences of Covid-19 lockdowns in Turkey," GLO Discussion Paper Series 602, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    11. KITAGAWA Ritsu & KURODA Sachiko & OKUDAIRA Hiroko & OWAN Hideo, 2021. "Working from Home: Its Effects on Productivity and Mental Health," Discussion papers 21024, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    12. Nora Lustig & Valentina Martinez Pabon & Federico Sanz & Stephen D. Younger, 2021. "The Impact of COVID-19 and Expanded Social Assistance on Inequality and Poverty in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico," Commitment to Equity (CEQ) Working Paper Series 92, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
    13. Bratianu Constantin, 2020. "Toward understanding the complexity of the COVID-19 crisis: a grounded theory approach," Management & Marketing, Sciendo, vol. 15(s1), pages 410-423, October.
    14. Frank Crowley & Justin Doran, 2020. "COVID‐19, occupational social distancing and remote working potential: An occupation, sector and regional perspective," Regional Science Policy & Practice, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(6), pages 1211-1234, December.
    15. Berniell, Lucila & Fernandez, Daniel, 2021. "Jobs’ amenability is not enough: The role of household inputs for safe work under social distancing in Latin American cities," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 140(C).
    16. Yenny Aman Serah & Rini Setiawati & Sri Ayu Septinawati, 2020. "Empowerment of community laws in efforts to decide distribution of COVID-19 in era new normal," Journal of Advances in Humanities and Social Sciences, Dr. Yi-Hsing Hsieh, vol. 6(3), pages 114-120.
    17. Nicola Melluso & Andrea Bonaccorsi & Filippo Chiarello & Gualtiero Fantoni, 2021. "Rapid detection of fast innovation under the pressure of COVID-19," Papers 2102.00197, arXiv.org.
    18. Ng, Wung Lik, 2020. "To lockdown? When to peak? Will there be an end? A macroeconomic analysis on COVID-19 epidemic in the United States," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 65(C).
    19. Bonacini, Luca & Gallo, Giovanni & Scicchitano, Sergio, 2020. "All that glitters is not gold. Effects of working from home on income inequality at the time of COVID-19," GLO Discussion Paper Series 541, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    20. Alleyne, Dillon & McLean, Sheldon & Abdulkadri, Abdullahi & Camarinhas, Catarina & Hendrickson, Michael & Jones, Francis & Phillips, Willard & Tokuda, Hidenobu & Pantin, Machel & Skerrette, Nyasha, 2021. "The case for financing: Caribbean resilience building in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic," Studies and Perspectives – ECLAC Subregional Headquarters for The Caribbean 97, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
    21. Luca Bonacini & Giovanni Gallo & Sergio Scicchitano, 2021. "Working from home and income inequality: risks of a ‘new normal’ with COVID-19," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 34(1), pages 303-360, January.
    22. Constanza Fosco & Felipe Zurita, 2021. "Assessing the short-run effects of lockdown policies on economic activity, with an application to the Santiago Metropolitan Region, Chile," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 16(6), pages 1-23, June.
    23. Niembro, Andrés & Calá, Carla Daniela, 2020. "A first exploratory analysis of the regional economic impact of COVID-19 in Argentina," Nülan. Deposited Documents 3376, Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Sociales, Centro de Documentación.

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    Keywords

    COVID-19; Teleworking; Employment; Demographics;
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