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Home Production and Leisure during the COVID-19 Recession

Leukhina Oksana () and Zhixiu Yu ()
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Leukhina Oksana: Research Department, Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis, St Louis, MO, USA

The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, 2022, vol. 22, issue 1, 269-306

Abstract: Between the months of February and April of 2020, average weekly market hours in the U.S. dropped by 6.25, meanwhile 36% of workers reported switching to remote work arrangements. In this paper, we examine implications of these changes for the time allocation of different households, and on aggregate. We estimate that home production activity increased by 2.65 h a week, or 42.4% of lost market hours, due to the drop in market work and rise in remote work. The monthly value of home production increased by $39.65 billion – that is 13.55% of the concurrent $292.61 billion drop in monthly GDP. Although market hours declined the most for single, less educated individuals, the lost market hours were absorbed into home production the most by married individuals with children. Adding on the impact of school closures, our estimate of weekly home production hours increases by as much as 4.92 h. The increase in the value of monthly home production between February and April updates to $73.57 billion. We also report the estimated impact of labor markets and telecommuting on home production for each month in 2020.

Keywords: shutdown; COVID-19; pandemic; home production; remote work (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D13 E32 J22 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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Working Paper: Home Production and Leisure During the COVID-19 Recession (2020) Downloads
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DOI: 10.1515/bejm-2020-0271

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