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Baby steps: the gender division of childcare during the COVID-19 pandemic

Sevilla, A; Smith, S; (2020) Baby steps: the gender division of childcare during the COVID-19 pandemic. Oxford Review of Economic Policy , 36 S169-S186. 10.1093/oxrep/graa027.

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Abstract

The nature and scale of the shocks to the demand for, and the supply of, home childcare during the COVID-19 pandemic provide a unique opportunity to increase our understanding of the division of home labour and the determinants of specialization within the household. We collected real-time data on daily lives to document the impact of measures to control COVID-19 on UK families with children under the age of 12. We document that these families have been doing the equivalent of a working week in childcare, with mothers bearing most of the burden. The additional hours of childcare done by women are less sensitive to their employment than they are for men, leaving many women juggling work and (a lot more) childcare, with likely adverse effects on their mental health and future careers. However, some households, those in which men have not been working, have taken greater steps towards an equal allocation, offering the prospect of sharing the burden of childcare more equally in the future.

Type: Article
Title: Baby steps: the gender division of childcare during the COVID-19 pandemic
DOI: 10.1093/oxrep/graa027
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxrep/graa027
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Research Institute
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10123858
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