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CEP discussion paper

Work, care and gender during the Covid-19 crisis


We explore impacts of the pandemic crisis and associated restrictions to economic activity on paid and unpaid work for men and women in the UK. Using data from the Covid-19 supplement of Understanding Society, we find evidence that labour market outcomes of men and women were roughly equally affected at the extensive margin, as measured by the incidence of job loss or furloughing, but if anything women suffered smaller losses at the intensive margin, experiencing slightly smaller changes in hours and earnings. Within the household, women provided on average a larger share of increased childcare needs, but in an important share of households fathers became the primary childcare providers. These distributional consequences of the pandemic may be important to understand its inequality legacy over the longer term.


Claudia Hupkau and Barbara Petrongolo

2 October 2020     Paper Number CEPDP1723

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This CEP discussion paper is published under the centre's Labour markets programme.