Sharing the Caring? The Gender Division of Care Work During the Covid-19 Pandemic in Germany

24 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2021

See all articles by Jonas Jessen

Jonas Jessen

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin); European University Viadrina

C. Katharina Spiess

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin)

Sevrin Waights

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin)

Katharina Wrohlich

DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic and related closures of daycare centers and schools significantly increased the amount of care work done by parents. There is much speculation over whether the pandemic increased or decreased gender equality in parental care work. Based on representative data for Germany we present an empirical analysis that shows greater support for the latter rather than the former hypothesis. A key finding is that there is a significant increase in the number of couples where the mother is left completely or almost completely alone with the care work. We see only small increases in the prevalence of fathers doing more than mothers or in splitting these tasks 50:50. Additionally we find that the increase in mothers solely responsible for care work is greatest when the mother alone works from home. The division of care work is perceived very differently by mothers and fathers, a difference that also increased during the pandemic.

JEL Classification: D13, J16, J22

Suggested Citation

Jessen, Jonas and Spiess, C. Katharina and Waights, Sevrin and Wrohlich, Katharina, Sharing the Caring? The Gender Division of Care Work During the Covid-19 Pandemic in Germany. IZA Discussion Paper No. 14457, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3870188 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3870188

Jonas Jessen (Contact Author)

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) ( email )

Mohrenstr
58
Berlin
Germany

European University Viadrina ( email )

Germany

C. Katharina Spiess

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) ( email )

Mohrenstraße 58
Berlin, 10117
Germany

Sevrin Waights

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) ( email )

Mohrenstraße 58
Berlin, 10117
Germany

Katharina Wrohlich

DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research ( email )

Mohrenstraße 58
Berlin, 10117
Germany

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