Covid-19 Disruptions Disproportionately Affect Female Academics

32 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 2021 Last revised: 30 Jan 2021

See all articles by Tatyana Deryugina

Tatyana Deryugina

University of Illinois

Olga Shurchkov

Wellesley College

Jenna Stearns

University of California, Davis

Date Written: January 2021


The rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent countermeasures, such as school closures, the shift to working from home, and social distancing are disrupting economic activity around the world. As with other major economic shocks, there are winners and losers, leading to increased inequality across certain groups. In this project, we investigate the effects of COVID-19 disruptions on the gender gap in academia. We administer a global survey to a broad range of academics across various disciplines to collect nuanced data on the respondents’ circumstances, such as a spouse’s employment, the number and ages of children, and time use. We find that female academics, particularly those who have children, report a disproportionate reduction in time dedicated to research relative to what comparable men and women without children experience. Both men and women report substantial increases in childcare and housework burdens, but women experienced significantly larger increases than men did.

Suggested Citation

Deryugina, Tatyana and Shurchkov, Olga and Stearns, Jenna, Covid-19 Disruptions Disproportionately Affect Female Academics (January 2021). NBER Working Paper No. w28360, Available at SSRN:

Tatyana Deryugina (Contact Author)

University of Illinois ( email )

1206 South Sixth Street
Champaign, IL 61820
United States


Olga Shurchkov

Wellesley College ( email )

106 Central St., PNE 417
Wellesley, MA 02481
United States

Jenna Stearns

University of California, Davis ( email )

One Shields Avenue
Apt 153
Davis, CA 95616
United States

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