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All that glitters is not gold. Effects of working from home on income inequality at the time of COVID-19

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  • Bonacini, Luca
  • Gallo, Giovanni
  • Scicchitano, Sergio

Abstract

The recent global COVID-19 pandemic forced most of governments in developed countries to introduce severe measures limiting people mobility freedom in order to contain the infection spread. Consequently, working from home (WFH) procedures became of great importance for a large part of employees, since they represent the only option to both continue working and keep staying home. Based on influence function regression methods, our paper explores the role of WFH attitude across labour income distribution in Italy. Results show that increasing WFH attitudes of occupations would lead to a rise of wage inequality among Italian employees. Specifically, a change from low to high WFH attitude would determine a 10% wage premium on average and even higher premiums (+17%) in top deciles of wage distribution. A possible improvement of occupations WFH attitude tends to benefit male, older and high-paid employees, as well as those living in provinces more affected by the novel coronavirus.

Suggested Citation

  • 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).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:541
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    Cited by:

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    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. Daniel Garrote Sanchez & Nicolas Gomez Parra & Caglar Ozden & Bob Rijkers & Mariana Viollaz & Hernan Winkler, 2021. "Who on Earth Can Work from Home?," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 36(1), pages 67-100.
    4. Hakan Yilmazkuday, 2020. "COVID‐19 and unequal social distancing across demographic groups," Regional Science Policy & Practice, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(6), pages 1235-1248, December.
    5. Ferdinando Toscano & Salvatore Zappalà, 2020. "Social Isolation and Stress as Predictors of Productivity Perception and Remote Work Satisfaction during the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Role of Concern about the Virus in a Moderated Double Mediation," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(23), pages 1-14, November.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    COVID-19; working from home; inequality; unconditional quantile regressions;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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