NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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How Many Jobs Can be Done at Home?

Jonathan I. Dingel, Brent Neiman

NBER Working Paper No. 26948
Issued in April 2020, Revised in June 2020
NBER Program(s):International Trade and Investment, Labor Studies, Economic Fluctuations and Growth, Productivity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship

Evaluating the economic impact of "social distancing" measures taken to arrest the spread of COVID-19 raises a fundamental question about the modern economy: how many jobs can be performed at home? We classify the feasibility of working at home for all occupations and merge this classification with occupational employment counts. We find that 37 percent of jobs in the United States can be performed entirely at home, with significant variation across cities and industries. These jobs typically pay more than jobs that cannot be done at home and account for 46 percent of all US wages. Applying our occupational classification to 85 other countries reveals that lower-income economies have a lower share of jobs that can be done at home.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w26948

 
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