Work from Home Before and After the COVID-19 Outbreak

71 Pages Posted: 17 Feb 2021

See all articles by Alexander Bick

Alexander Bick

Arizona State University (ASU) - Economics Department

Adam Blandin

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) - School of Business

Karel Mertens

FRB Dallas; Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

Date Written: February 11, 2021

Abstract

Based on novel survey data, we document the evolution of commuting behavior in the U.S. over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Work from home (WFH) increased sharply and persistently after the outbreak, and much more so among some workers than others. Using theory and evidence, we argue that the observed heterogeneity in WFH transitions is consistent with potentially more permanent changes to work arrangements in some occupations, and not just temporary substitution in response to greater health risks. Consistent with increased WFH adoption, many more---especially higher-educated---workers expect to WFH in the future.

Keywords: working from home, telecommuting, telework, remote work, COVID-19, pandemic

JEL Classification: J1, J2, J22, I18, R4

Suggested Citation

Bick, Alexander and Blandin, Adam and Mertens, Karel and Mertens, Karel, Work from Home Before and After the COVID-19 Outbreak (February 11, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3786142 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3786142

Alexander Bick

Arizona State University (ASU) - Economics Department ( email )

Tempe, AZ 85287-3806
United States

Adam Blandin (Contact Author)

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) - School of Business ( email )

Karel Mertens

FRB Dallas ( email )

2200 North Pearl Street
PO Box 655906
Dallas, TX 75265-5906
United States

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas ( email )

2200 North Pearl Street
PO Box 655906
Dallas, TX 75265-5906
United States

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