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Will it be a shecession? The unintended influence of working from home on the gender wage gap related to the COVID-19 pandemic

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

Abstract

Working from home (WFH) has become a key factor during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in countries that have implemented severe social distancing measures. This paper investigates the potential influence of the working from home attitude of occupations on the gender wage gap (GWG) reported by Italian employees, on average and along the distribution. Based on Oaxaca-Blinder decompositions and unconditional quantile regressions, our results show that the GWG is greater among females working in an occupation with a high level of WFH attitude, thus among those more likely to be affected by a (probably) persistent spread of WFH procedures after the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, we find evidence of both sticky floor and glass ceiling effects for employees with a high WFH attitude and only a sticky floor effect for the group with a low WFH attitude. The positive association revealed between the level of WFH attitude and the GWG appears particularly strong among older and married female employees, as well as among those working in the private sector. Finally, this study confirms that allocating adequate resources to programmes and instruments that aim to achieve genderrelated goals is strongly recommended.

Suggested Citation

  • Bonacini, Luca & Gallo, Giovanni & Scicchitano, Sergio, 2021. "Will it be a shecession? The unintended influence of working from home on the gender wage gap related to the COVID-19 pandemic," GLO Discussion Paper Series 771, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:771
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Töpfer, Marina & Castagnetti, Carolina & Rosti, Luisa, 2016. "Discriminate me - if you can! The Disappearance of the Gender Pay Gap among Public-Contest Selected Employees," VfS Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145905, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. Joanna Tyrowicz & Lucas van der Velde & Irene van Staveren, 2018. "Does Age Exacerbate the Gender-Wage Gap? New Method and Evidence From Germany, 1984–2014," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(4), pages 108-130, October.
    3. Claudia Pigini & Stefano Staffolani, 2019. "Teleworkers in Italy: who are they? Do they make more?," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 40(2), pages 265-285, May.
    4. Koenker, Roger W & Bassett, Gilbert, Jr, 1978. "Regression Quantiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 33-50, January.
    5. Leone Leonida & Marianna Marra & Sergio Scicchitano & Antonio Giangreco & Marco Biagetti, 2020. "Estimating the Wage Premium to Supervision for Middle Managers in Different Contexts: Evidence from Germany and the UK," Work, Employment & Society, British Sociological Association, vol. 34(6), pages 1004-1026, December.
    6. Jurajda, Stepán & Paligorova, Teodora, 2009. "Czech female managers and their wages," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 342-351, June.
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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. Deole, Sumit S. & Deter, Max & Huang, Yue, 2021. "Home Sweet Home: Working from home and employee performance during the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK," GLO Discussion Paper Series 791, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    3. Bonacini, Luca & Gallo, Giovanni & Scicchitano, Sergio, 2021. "Sometimes you cannot make it on your own. How household background influences chances of success in Italy," GLO Discussion Paper Series 832, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    4. Deole, Sumit S. & Zeydanli, Tugba, 2021. "Does education predict gender role attitudes?: Evidence from European datasets," GLO Discussion Paper Series 793 [rev.], Global Labor Organization (GLO).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    working from home; gender wage gap; COVID-19; Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition; RIF regressions;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality

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