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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

UNICEF Innocenti's curated library of COVID-19 + Children research

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Essential work and emergency childcare: identifying gender differences in COVID-19 effects on labour demand and supply

AUTHOR(S)
Jordy Meekes; Wolter H. J. Hassink; Guyonne Kalb

Published: July 2022   Journal: Oxford Economic Papers,
This study examines whether the COVID-19 crisis affects women and men differently in terms of employment, working hours, and hourly wages, and whether the effects are demand or supply driven. COVID-19 impacts are studied using administrative data on all Dutch employees up to December 2020, focussing on the national lockdowns and emergency childcare for essential workers in the Netherlands. First, the impact of COVID-19 is much larger for non-essential workers than for essential workers. Although female non-essential workers are more affected than male non-essential workers, on average, women and men are equally affected, because more women than men are essential workers. Second, the impact for partnered essential workers with young children, both men and women, is not larger than for others. Third, single-parent essential workers respond with relatively large reductions in labour supply, suggesting emergency childcare was insufficient for them. Overall, labour demand effects appear larger than labour supply effects.
The evolving impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on gender inequality in the US labor market: the COVID motherhood penalty

AUTHOR(S)
Kenneth A. Couch; Robert W. Fairlie; Huanan Xu

Published: January 2022   Journal: Economic Inquiry
This study explored whether COVID-19 disproportionately affected women in the labor market using Current Population Survey data through the end of 2020. It found that male–female gaps in the employment-to-population ratio and hours worked for women with school-age children have widened but not for those with younger children. Triple-difference estimates are consistent with most of the reductions observed for women with school-age children being attributable to additional childcare responsibilities (the “COVID motherhood penalty”). Conducting decompositions, it found women had a greater likelihood to telework, higher education levels and a less-impacted occupational distribution, which all contributed to lessening negative impacts relative to men.
Retraditionalisation? Work patterns of families with children during the pandemic in Italy

AUTHOR(S)
Elisa Brini; Mariya Lenko; Stefani Scherer

Published: October 2021   Journal: Demographic Research

 During the COVID-19 pandemic, employment declined and real incomes fell worldwide. The burden of childcare on families increased and, in many countries, women’s employment fell more than men’s. From a couple-level perspective, changing employment patterns could lead to a retraditionalisation of gender roles between partners, especially for families with dependent children. This study focused on couples with children under 16 and used quarterly large-scale micro data (the Italian Labour Force Survey) to examine, through descriptive statistics and multinomial logistic regressions, the changes and composition of couples’ work patterns between 2019 and 2020.

The gendered impacts of COVID-19 on labor markets in Latin America and the Caribbean

AUTHOR(S)
Emilia Cucagna; Javier Romero

Institution: The World Bank
Published: January 2021
This note explores the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on labor outcomes among males and females and identifies the dimensions that render workers more resilient to job losses. These findings are then used to discuss implications for policymaking. To overcome the scarcity of data generated by the pause in most statistical operations resulting from social-distancing measures, High-Frequency Phone Surveys (HFPS) collected in the region by the Poverty and Equity Global Practice of the World Bank are used. In this way, the note aims to estimate the gendered outcomes in the labor markets associated with the deepest recession since World War II
The COVID decade: understanding the long-term societal impacts of COVID-19
Institution: British Academy
Published: 2021
This report outlines the evidence across a range of areas, building upon a series of expert reviews, engagement, synthesis and analysis across the research community in the Social Sciences, Humanities and the Arts (SHAPE). With the advent of vaccines and the imminent ending of lockdowns, we might think that the impact of COVID-19 is coming to an end. This would be wrong. We are in a COVID decade: the social, economic and cultural effects of the pandemic will cast a long shadow into the future – perhaps longer than a decade – and the sooner we begin to understand, the better placed we will be to address them.
Estimating the immediate impact of the COVID-19 shock on parental attachment to the labor market and the double bind of mothers

AUTHOR(S)
Misty L. Heggeness

Published: October 2020   Journal: Review of Economics of the Household
This study examines the impact of the COVID-19 shock on parents’ labor supply during the initial stages of the pandemic. Using difference-in-difference estimation and monthly panel data from the Current Population Survey (CPS), I compare labor market attachment, non-work activity, hours worked, and earnings and wages of those in areas with early school closures and stay-in-place orders with those in areas with delayed or no pandemic closures. While there was no immediate impact on detachment or unemployment, mothers with jobs in early closure states were 68.8 percent more likely than mothers in late closure states to have a job but not be working as a result of early shutdowns. There was no effect on working fathers or working women without school age children. Mothers who continued working increased their work hours relative to comparable fathers; this effect, however, appears entirely driven by a reduction in fathers’ hours worked. Overall, the pandemic appears to have induced a unique immediate juggling act for working parents of school age children. Mothers took a week of leave from formal work; fathers working full time, for example, reduced their hours worked by 0.53 hours over the week. While experiences were different for mothers and fathers, each are vulnerable to scarring and stunted opportunities for career growth and advancement due to the pandemic.
COVID-19 impact on child labour and forced labour: the response of the IPEC+ Flagship programme
Institution: International Labour Organisation
Published: May 2020
In line with the ILO’s policy framework to respond to the COVID-19 crisis, country policies responses and the ILO Monitor: COVID-19 and the world of work, this briefing note provides an initial framework for the response of IPEC+ to the crisis. Service provided by IPEC+ will be part of a holistic ILO response to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and to rebuild better after the crisis.
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UNICEF Innocenti's Children and COVID-19 Library is a database collecting research from around the world on COVID-19 and its impacts on children and adolescents.

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Check our quarterly thematic digests on children and COVID-19

Each quarterly thematic digest features the latest evidence drawn from the Children and COVID-19 Research Library on a particular topic of interest.
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COVID-19 & Children: Rapid Research Response

UNICEF Innocenti is mobilizing a rapid research response in line with UNICEF’s global response to the COVID-19 crisis. The initiatives we’ve begun will provide the broad range of evidence needed to inform our work to scale up rapid assessment, develop urgent mitigating strategies in programming and advocacy, and preparation of interventions to respond to the medium and longer-term consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. The research projects cover a rapid review of evidence, education analysis, and social and economic policies.