Labour Supply in the Early Stages of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Empirical Evidence on Hours, Home Office, and Expectations

25 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2020

See all articles by Hans-Martin von Gaudecker

Hans-Martin von Gaudecker

University of Bonn - Economic Science Area; Netspar; Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA)

Radost Holler

Bonn Graduate School of Economics

Lena Janys

University of Mannheim

Bettina Siflinger

University of Mannheim - Department of Economics

Christian Zimpelmann

IZA

Abstract

Using a survey module administered in late March 2020, we analyze how working hours change under the social distancing regulations enacted to fight the COViD-19 pandemic. We study the Netherlands, which are a prototypical Western European country, both in terms of its welfare system and its response to the pandemic. We show that total hours decline and more so for the self-employed and those with lower educational degrees. The education gradient appears because workers with atertiary degree work a much higher number of hours from home. The strength of this effect is dampened by the government defining some workers to be essential for the working of the economy. Across sectors, we show that there are two clusters: One dominated by office-type occupations with high shares of academics, home-office hours, and low fractions of essential workers; and one where manual tasks and social interactions are prevalent with low shares of academics, home office hours, and often high shares of essential workers. Short-term expectations show that workers expect current patterns to prevail and that they expect a lot from government support schemes. In particular, many workers expect to keep their jobs in early June due to government support and the expected unemployment response is far lower than in the U.S. or the U.K..

Keywords: working hours, home office, essential workers, education groups, COViD-19, expectations

JEL Classification: J22, J65, J40

Suggested Citation

von Gaudecker, Hans-Martin and Holler, Radost and Janys, Lena and Siflinger, Bettina and Zimpelmann, Christian, Labour Supply in the Early Stages of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Empirical Evidence on Hours, Home Office, and Expectations. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3579251 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3579251

Hans-Martin Von Gaudecker (Contact Author)

University of Bonn - Economic Science Area ( email )

Adenauerallee 24-42
D-53113 Bonn
Germany

Netspar ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) ( email )

Amalienstrasse 33
Munich, 80799
Germany

Radost Holler

Bonn Graduate School of Economics

Lena Janys

University of Mannheim

Universitaetsbibliothek Mannheim
Zeitschriftenabteilung
Mannheim, 68131
Germany

Bettina Siflinger

University of Mannheim - Department of Economics ( email )

D-68131 Mannheim
Germany

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
2,394
Abstract Views
5,986
rank
7,510
PlumX Metrics