SHE Can’t Afford It and HE Doesn’t Want It: the Gender Gap in the COVID-19 Consumption Response

Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper 22-029/II

50 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2022 Last revised: 19 Apr 2022

See all articles by Stefanie Huber

Stefanie Huber

University of Amsterdam; Tinbergen Institute

Date Written: April 14, 2022

Abstract

This paper explores whether and why the pandemic differentially altered women's and men’s consumption behavior. After the 2020 wave of lockdown restrictions were lifted, women reduced consumption more than men. Data on self-reported reasons for consuming less reveals that gender differences in infection risk aversion and precautionary saving motives are small. I find considerable gender differences in the reporting of affordability constraints and consumer preference shifts. Women report financial constraints more frequently. Men adapted more to the limited consumption possibilities during the lockdown and frequently reported “not missing” various items as the primary reason for spending less than pre-pandemic.

Keywords: COVID-19, gender gap, gender equality, household consumption, consumer preferences, experience effects, fiscal policy

JEL Classification: E21, D12, J16

Suggested Citation

Huber, Stefanie, SHE Can’t Afford It and HE Doesn’t Want It: the Gender Gap in the COVID-19 Consumption Response (April 14, 2022). Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper 22-029/II, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4084807 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4084807

Stefanie Huber (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam ( email )

Spui 21
Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands

Tinbergen Institute

Burg. Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, 3062 PA
Netherlands

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