Gender Gaps in Time Use: Pan-European Evidence from School Closures during COVID-19


We study the impact of school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic on the allocation of paid and unpaid work within households. We use panel data from 27 EU countries and isolate the impact of school closures by comparing parents and non-parents. In the full sample, we find suggestive evidence of a widening gender gap in time use. When we focus on parents, we find that mothers strongly respond to school closures, spending less time on chores and more time on work and leisure. We see no significant response among fathers. These effects are stronger in countries with high gender equality.

Revise and Resubmit at the Economic and Social Review
Benjamin Elsner
Benjamin Elsner

My research interests are migration, human capital, and environmental economics matter.