Gender Equality in Work and COVID-19 Deaths

Covid Economics, Issue 16, 11 May 2020, p 23-60

38 Pages Posted: 19 May 2020

Date Written: April 23, 2020

Abstract

On average, women comprise a smaller share of deaths from COVID-19. Variation in the share of COVID-19 deaths for women across countries and US States suggests that biological factors cannot fully account for this gender difference. I hypothesize that women’s participation in the workforce is related to women’s share of COVID-19 deaths. I show that the percent of the full-time workforce comprised by women is positively related to the percent of female Covid-19 deaths across countries. I also show that the percent of the full-time workforce comprised by women is positively related to the incidence of various diseases associated with a more severe impact of COVID-19 and the percent of medical doctors and nurses who are women. My results suggest that in countries where women participate more fully in the workforce, women may be more susceptible to COVID-19 due to increased exposure to the virus and a higher risk of developing comorbidities. Future research should be careful to consider social factors when examining gender differences in health outcomes.

Keywords: COVID-19, Death, Gender, Work, Equality, Doctors, Nurses, labor Force Participation

JEL Classification: I14, J40, J7

Suggested Citation

Adams, Renée B., Gender Equality in Work and COVID-19 Deaths (April 23, 2020). Covid Economics, Issue 16, 11 May 2020, p 23-60, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3601651 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3601651

Renée B. Adams (Contact Author)

University of Oxford ( email )

Park End Street
Oxford, OX1 1HP
Great Britain

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