Working Parents, Financial Insecurity, and Child-Care: Mental Health in the Time of Covid-19

29 Pages Posted: 17 Aug 2020

See all articles by Massimiliano Tani

Massimiliano Tani

University of New South Wales - Australian Defence Force Academy; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Zhiming Cheng

Macquarie University; Macquarie University, Macquarie Business School

Silvia Mendolia

University of Wollongong

Alfredo Paloyo

University of Wollongong

David Savage

University of Newcastle - The University of Newcastle; University of Newcastle

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic and the policy measures to control its spread – lockdowns, physical distancing, and social isolation – has coincided with the deterioration of people's mental well-being. We use data from the UK Household Longitudinal Study (UKHLS) to document how this phenomenon is related to the situation of working parents who now have to manage competing time demands across the two life domains of work and home. We show that the worsening of mental health in the United Kingdom is worse for working parents, and that it is especially related to the increased financial insecurity and the time spent on childcare and home schooling. We find that this burden is not shared equally between men and women, and between richer and poorer households. In crafting public policy responses to the pandemic, better outcomes can be achieved if policymakers are cognizant of these inequalities.

Keywords: COVID-19, working parents, United Kingdom, childcare, mental health, financial insecurity

JEL Classification: I14, J16

Suggested Citation

Tani, Massimiliano and Cheng, Zhiming and Mendolia, Silvia and Paloyo, Alfredo and Savage, David, Working Parents, Financial Insecurity, and Child-Care: Mental Health in the Time of Covid-19. IZA Discussion Paper No. 13588, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3674309

Massimiliano Tani (Contact Author)

University of New South Wales - Australian Defence Force Academy ( email )

Sydney, NSW 2052
Australia
+612 6268 8512 (Phone)
+612 6248 8450 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.unsw.adfa.edu.au/sbus/staff_cvs/about_max_t.html

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Zhiming Cheng

Macquarie University ( email )

North Ryde
Sydney, New South Wales 2109
Australia

Macquarie University, Macquarie Business School ( email )

New South Wales 2109
Australia

Silvia Mendolia

University of Wollongong ( email )

Northfields Avenue
Wollongong, 2522
Australia

Alfredo Paloyo

University of Wollongong ( email )

Northfields Avenue
Wollongong, 2522
Australia

David Savage

University of Newcastle - The University of Newcastle ( email )

Australia

University of Newcastle ( email )

5 Barrack Road
Devonshire Building
NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, NE1 7RU
United Kingdom

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

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