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The Covid-19 Pandemic and Lockdown: First Order Effects on Gender Gaps in Employment and Domestic Time Use in India

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  • Deshpande, Ashwini

Abstract

Based on national-level panel data from Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE)’s Consumer Pyramids Household Survey (CPHS) database, this paper investigates the first effects of Covid-19 induced lockdown on employment and the gendered pattern of time allocation inside the home. Examining the employment status during the last 12 months of over 40,000 individuals surveyed in April 2020 (i.e. during the strict nationwide lockdown), the paper finds that overall employment, which was relatively stable during the pre-pandemic time period, dropped sharply post-lockdown. This drop in employment was not gender neutral. Given the large pre-existing gender gaps in employment, in absolute terms, more men lost employment than women. However, conditional on being employed pre-lockdown, women were roughly 20 percentage points less likely to be employed than men who were employed pre-lockdown. India has amongst the most unequal gender division of household work globally. Comparing hours spent on domestic work pre- and post-lockdown, I find that men increased hours spent on domestic work during lockdown. The male distribution continues to be right-skewed, but the proportions of men doing between 0.5 to 4 hours of housework per day increased post-lockdown. This seems to be driven by increased male unemployment. The time spent with friends decreased for both men and women, but relatively more for women.

Suggested Citation

  • Deshpande, Ashwini, 2020. "The Covid-19 Pandemic and Lockdown: First Order Effects on Gender Gaps in Employment and Domestic Time Use in India," GLO Discussion Paper Series 607, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:607
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lidia Farré & Yarine Fawaz & Libertad González Luna & Jennifer Graves, 2020. "How the covid-19 lockdown affected gender Inequality in paid and unpaid work in Spain," Economics Working Papers 1728, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    2. Titan Alon & Matthias Doepke & Jane Olmstead-Rumsey & Michèle Tertilt, 2020. "The Impact of COVID-19 on Gender Equality," CRC TR 224 Discussion Paper Series crctr224_2020_163, University of Bonn and University of Mannheim, Germany.
    3. Andrew, Alison & Cattan, Sarah & Costa Dias, Monica & Farquharson, Christine & Kraftman, Lucy & Krutikova, Sonya & Phimister, Angus & Sevilla, Almudena, 2020. "The Gendered Division of Paid and Domestic Work under Lockdown," IZA Discussion Papers 13500, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Clarence D. Long, 1958. "The Labor Force under Changing Income and Employment," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number long58-1, June.
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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 > Socioeconomic status

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    Cited by:

    1. Ishaan Bansal & Kanika Mahajan, 2021. "COVID-19, Income Shocks and Female Employment," Working Papers 69, Ashoka University, Department of Economics.
    2. Chakraborty, Lekha, 2022. "Covid19 and Unpaid Care Economy: Evidence on Fiscal Policy and Time Allocation in India," Working Papers 22/372, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy.
    3. Andrew, Alison & Cattan, Sarah & Costa Dias, Monica & Farquharson, Christine & Kraftman, Lucy & Krutikova, Sonya & Phimister, Angus & Sevilla, Almudena, 2020. "The Gendered Division of Paid and Domestic Work under Lockdown," IZA Discussion Papers 13500, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Piotrowski Krzysztof & Krukowska Renata, 2021. "Time Budget of Inhabitants of Large Cities in Poland During the Covid-19 Pandemic," Polish Journal of Sport and Tourism, Sciendo, vol. 28(4), pages 32-39, December.
    5. Chakraborty, Lekha S, 2022. "Covid19 and Fiscal Policy for Unpaid Care Economy," MPRA Paper 111925, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Covid-19; Lockdown; Employment; Gender; Time Use; India;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East

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