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Gender inequality in COVID-19 times: Evidence from UK Prolific participants


  • Oreffice, Sonia
  • Quintana-Domeque, Climent


We investigate gender differences across multiple dimensions after three months of the first UK lockdown of March 2020, using an online sample of approximately 1,500 Prolific respondents residents in the UK. We find that women's mental health was worse than men's along the four metrics we collected data on, that women were more concerned about getting and spreading the virus, and that women perceived the virus as more prevalent and lethal than men did. Women were also more likely to expect a new lockdown or virus outbreak by the end of 2020, and were more pessimistic about the contemporaneous and future state of the UK economy, as measured by their forecasted contemporaneous and future unemployment rates. We also show that, between earlier in 2020 before the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic and June 2020, women had increased childcare and housework more than men. Neither the gender gaps in COVID-19-related health and economic concerns nor the gender gaps in the increase in hours of childcare and housework can be accounted for by a rich set of control variables. Instead, we find that the gender gap in mental health can be partially accounted for by the difference in COVID-19-related health concerns between men and women.

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  • Oreffice, Sonia & Quintana-Domeque, Climent, 2020. "Gender inequality in COVID-19 times: Evidence from UK Prolific participants," GLO Discussion Paper Series 738, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:738

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Claudia Hupkau & Barbara Petrongolo, 2020. "Work, Care and Gender during the COVID‐19 Crisis," Fiscal Studies, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 41(3), pages 623-651, September.
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    11. Belot, Michèle & Choi, Syngjoo & Tripodi, Egon & van den Broek-Altenburg, Eline & Jamison, Julian C. & Papageorge, Nicholas W., 2020. "Unequal Consequences of COVID-19 across Age and Income: Representative Evidence from Six Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 13366, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
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    1. Meekes, Jordy & Hassink, Wolter & Kalb, Guyonne, 2020. "Essential Work and Emergency Childcare: Identifying Gender Differences in COVID-19 Effects on Labour Demand and Supply," IZA Discussion Papers 13843, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Claudia Hupkau & Barbara Petrongolo, 2020. "Work, Care and Gender during the COVID‐19 Crisis," Fiscal Studies, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 41(3), pages 623-651, September.
    3. Barili, Emilia & Bertoli, Paola & Grembi, Veronica & Rattini, Veronica, 2021. "COVID Angels Fighting Daily Demons? Mental Health of Healthcare Workers and Religion," CINCH Working Paper Series (since 2020) 74583, Duisburg-Essen University Library, DuEPublico.
    4. Anna Petherick & Rafael Goldszmidt & Eduardo B. Andrade & Rodrigo Furst & Thomas Hale & Annalena Pott & Andrew Wood, 2021. "A worldwide assessment of changes in adherence to COVID-19 protective behaviours and hypothesized pandemic fatigue," Nature Human Behaviour, Nature, vol. 5(9), pages 1145-1160, September.
    5. Lindley, Joanne & Rienzo, Cinzia, 2021. "The Effect of Repeated Lockdowns during the Covid-19 Pandemic on UK Mental Health Outcomes," GLO Discussion Paper Series 977, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    6. Kim, Jun Hyung & Koh, Yu Kyung & Park, Jinseong, 2021. "Mental Health Consequences of Working from Home during the Pandemic," GLO Discussion Paper Series 960, Global Labor Organization (GLO).

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    More about this item


    Coronavirus; sex; inequity; wellbeing; mental health; anxiety; employment; concerns; perceptions; donations; time allocation; childcare; housework;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H1 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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