What Jobs are Being Done at Home During the COVID-19 Crisis? Evidence from Firm-Level Surveys

27 Pages Posted: 26 Jun 2020

See all articles by Alexander Bartik

Alexander Bartik

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Economics

Zoe Cullen

Harvard University - Business School (HBS)

Edward L. Glaeser

Harvard University - Department of Economics; Brookings Institution; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Michael Luca

Harvard University - Business School (HBS)

Christopher Stanton

Harvard University - Business School (HBS); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 20, 2020

Abstract

The threat of COVID-19 has increased the health risks of going to an office or factory, leading more workers to do their jobs remotely. In this paper, we provide results from firm surveys on both small and large businesses on the prevalence and productivity of remote work, and expectations about the persistence of remote work once the COVID-19 crisis ends. We present four main findings. First, while overall levels of remote work are high, there is considerable variation across industries. The Dingel and Neiman (2020) measure of suitability for remote work does a remarkably good job of predicting the industry level patterns of remote work - highlighting the challenge of moving many industries to remote work. Second, remote work is much more common in industries with better educated and better paid workers. Third, in our larger survey, employers think that there has been less productivity loss from remote working in better educated and higher paid industries. Fourth, more than one-third of firms that had employees switch to remote work believe that that remote work will remain more common at their company even after the COVID-19 crisis ends.

Suggested Citation

Bartik, Alexander and Cullen, Zoe and Glaeser, Edward L. and Luca, Michael and Stanton, Christopher, What Jobs are Being Done at Home During the COVID-19 Crisis? Evidence from Firm-Level Surveys (June 20, 2020). Harvard Business School Entrepreneurial Management Working Paper No. 20-138, Harvard Business School NOM Unit Working Paper No. 20-138, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3634983 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3634983

Alexander Bartik

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Economics ( email )

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Zoe Cullen

Harvard University - Business School (HBS) ( email )

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Edward L. Glaeser

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

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Brookings Institution

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Michael Luca

Harvard University - Business School (HBS) ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Boston, MA 02163
United States

HOME PAGE: http://drfd.hbs.edu/fit/public/facultyInfo.do?facInfo=ovr&facId=602417

Christopher Stanton (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Business School (HBS) ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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