Countries embracing maternal employment opened schools sooner after Covid-19 lockdowns
Natalie Nitsche and
Additional contact information
Natalie Nitsche: Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany
No WP-2022-008, MPIDR Working Papers from Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany
The Covid-19-pandemic-related closure of schools has affected the majority of the world’s students and remains a contentious issue. Using data from the UNESCO school database, the ISSP 2012, and country-level panel regressions, we leverage simultaneous school closures during the first wave of Covid-19 lockdowns to estimate the effect of gender ideology on school reopening schedules. We show that societal gender ideology has likely influenced school reopening policies: i.e., that societies with more supportive attitudes toward maternal employment reopened schools significantly sooner, and at higher intensities, than societies with less supportive attitudes toward maternal employment, relative to other reopening measures, and net of infection rates. Our findings suggest a causal effect of gender ideological beliefs regarding pandemic-related school closure policies. We test and exclude a variety of potential confounders, such as a country’s maternal employment rate, GDP, social spending, and cultural values toward children. We argue that school closures may be perceived as less problematic in countries where more people support the ideal of a stay-at-home mother. Gender attitudes may thus represent a set of ideas that affect policy-makers’ decision-making via gender ideology normative framing or a potential gender ideology bias. However, the specific underlying mechanisms through which the gender ideology effect operates at the policy-maker level remain untested in our study, and should be investigated by future research.
JEL-codes: J1 Z0 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 58 pages
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-gen and nep-lab
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2022-008
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in MPIDR Working Papers from Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Peter Wilhelm ().