The Evolving Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Gender Inequality in the U.S. Labor Market: The COVID Motherhood Penalty
We explore whether COVID-19 disproportionately affected women in the labor market using CPS data through the end of 2020. We find that male-female gaps in the employment-to-population ratio and hours worked for women with school-age children have widened but not for those with younger children. Triple-difference estimates are consistent with most of the reductions observed for women with school-age children being attributable to additional child care responsibilities (the “COVID motherhood penalty”). Conducting decompositions, we find women had a greater likelihood to telework, higher education levels and a less-impacted occupational distribution, which all contributed to lessening negative impacts relative to men.
We received no funding for this research project. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Kenneth A. Couch & Robert W. Fairlie & Huanan Xu, 2022. "The evolving impacts of the COVID‐19 pandemic on gender inequality in the US labor market: The COVID motherhood penalty," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 60(2), pages 485-507, April. citation courtesy of