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Employment of Women During the Corona Crisis

  • Principal investigators: Dr. Lukas Fervers, Prof. Dr. Marita Jacob (University of Cologne), Prof. Silke Anger (IAB Institute for Employment Research)
  • Research assistants: Lina Tobler (University of Cologne), Dr. Bernhard Christoph, Veronika Knize (IAB Institute for Employment Research)
  • Funding institution: Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs/FIS Funding Network for Interdisciplinary Social Policy
  • Duration: September 2020 - August 2021

„Employment of Women During the Corona Crisis“

The Corona crisis has caused a considerable decline in economic activity. In order to slow down the spread of the pandemic, not only restaurants and stores but also schools and daycare centers were temporarily closed. Families with children are particularly affected as they have to organize the care of their children elsewhere. Paid gainful employment had to be reduced in favor of unpaid work in the domestic context.

From a socio-political perspective, various questions arise regarding the exact effects on different groups of people and the possible political options for action.

The research project is therefore dedicated to the question to which extent the increase in unpaid work or the reduction in paid employment differs between the sexes and whether existing gender differences are further intensified by the crisis. Characteristic-specific differences within the group of women and a possible increase in inequalities, especially where they were previously particularly pronounced, will also be analyzed. The question of how gainful employment and unpaid work develop over time, i.e. whether and how quickly after the easing of restrictions a return to the pre-crisis state is achieved, will also be investigated.

In addition, the effects of sociopolitical regulations, especially the reopening of schools and daycare centers, on gainful employment will be analyzed. Of particular importance is whether and to what extent reopening accelerates the recovery process.

In cooperation with the Institute for Employment Research (IAB), these questions are analyzed with the help of a data set that links a high-frequency personal survey conducted at IAB with social security data of the respondents. The data will also be combined with regional data on the availability of childcare and RKI data on the incidence of infections.