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Has the COVID-19 pandemic widened the gender gap in paid work hours in Spain?

Maite Blázquez, Ainhoa Herrarte and Ana I. Moro Egido ()
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Maite Blázquez: Universidad Autonoma de Madrid.
Ainhoa Herrarte: Universidad Autonoma de Madrid.
Ana I. Moro Egido: Department of Economic Theory and Economic History, University of Granada.

Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Ana Isabel Moro-Egido ()

No 21/05, ThE Papers from Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada.

Abstract: This paper analyzes the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the within-household gender gap in relation to paid work hours in full-time employed heterosexual couples in Spain, one of the European countries hardest hit by the pandemic. Using the Spanish Labor Force Survey (2019-2020) and a Difference-in-Differences method, we analyze three stages of the pandemic; strict lockdown, de-escalation, and partial closures to study the short-term effects and potential medium-term effects on gender inequality in terms of paid work hours. Our results suggest that during the strict lockdown period there was a tendency to fall back on traditional family gendered patterns to manage the work-life balance, especially when young children are present in male-headed households. However, this phenomenon seems to be a short-term consequence of the pandemic. The sector of activity (essential or non-essential) has also played a key role given that during the period of partial recovery amid partial closures, the gender gap increased in maleheaded households with female partners employed in non-essential sectors.

Keywords: Covid-19; gender gap; division of labor; hours of work. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D13 J16 J21 J22 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 41 pages
Date: 2021-07-08
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eur, nep-gen and nep-lab
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Handle: RePEc:gra:wpaper:21/05