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Drivers of Working Hours and Household Income Dynamics during the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Case of the Netherlands

Christian Zimpelmann, Hans-Martin von Gaudecker (), Radost Holler (), Lena Janys () and Bettina M. Siflinger ()
Additional contact information
Hans-Martin von Gaudecker: University of Bonn
Radost Holler: Bonn Graduate School of Economics
Lena Janys: University of Bonn
Bettina M. Siflinger: Tilburg University

No 14382, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: Using customized panel data spanning the entire year of 2020, we analyze the dynamics of working hours and household income across different stages of the CoVid-19 pandemic. Similar to many other countries, during this period the Netherlands experienced a quick spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, adopted a set of fairly strict social distancing measures, gradually reopened, and imposed another lockdown to contain the second wave. We show that socio-economic status is strongly related to changes in working hours, especially when strict economic restrictions are in place. In contrast, household income is equally unaffected for all socio-economic groups. Examining the drivers of these observations, we find that pandemic-specific job characteristics (the ability to work from home and essential worker status) explain most of the socio-economic gradient in total working hours. Furthermore, household income is largely decoupled from shocks to working hours for employees. We provide suggestive evidence that large-scale labor hoarding schemes have helped insure employees against demand shocks to their employees.

Keywords: inequality; labor market; working from home; coronavirus; mitigation policies; essential workers; COVID-19 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D31 J21 J22 J24 J33 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 59 pages
Date: 2021-05
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cwa, nep-eur, nep-hrm and nep-lma
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Published - published as 'Hours and income dynamics during the Covid-19 pandemic: The case of the Netherlands' in: Labour Economics, 2021, 73, 102055

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