As the Covid-19 pandemic causes an all-time high share of people to work from home, this disruptive event is likely to have a long-lasting effect on work arrangements. Given existing research on the effects of working from home (WfH) on hours worked and wages, an increased availability of WfH may provide a chance for women to catch up with their male counterparts. Yet, the need to simultaneously care for children during the Covid-19 lockdown may also revive traditional gender roles, potentially counteracting such gains. We discuss the likely effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on gender gaps in the labour market and at home in light of recent empirical findings and novel statistics on the heterogeneous structure of work arrangements among couples. We construct a novel teleworkability index that differentiates between fully teleworkable, partly teleworkable and on-site jobs and find that in about 30% of households the Covid-19 shock is likely to induce shifts in the intra-household allocation of tasks from mothers to fathers.
Arntz, Melanie, Sarra Ben Yahmed and Francesco Berlingieri (2020), Working from Home and COVID-19: The Chances and Risks for Gender Gaps, Intereconomics 55(6), 381-386. Download