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The gendered division of paid and domestic work under lockdown

Journal article

COVID-19 has uprooted many aspects of parents’ daily routines, from their jobs to their childcare arrangements. In this paper, we provide a novel description of how parents in England living in two-parent opposite-gender families are spending their time under lockdown. We find that mothers’ paid work has taken a larger hit than that of fathers’, on both the extensive and intensive margins. We find that mothers are spending substantially longer in childcare and housework than their partners and that they are spending a larger fraction of their paid work hours having to juggle work and childcare. Gender differences in the allocation of domestic work cannot be straightforwardly explained by gender differences in employment rates or earnings. Very large gender asymmetries emerge when one partner has stopped working for pay during the crisis: mothers who have stopped working for pay do far more domestic work than fathers in the equivalent situation do.