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The Gender Division of Unpaid Care Work throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic in Germany

Referierte Aufsätze Web of Science

Jonas Jessen, C. Katharina Spiess, Sevrin Waights, Katharina Wrohlich

In: German Economic Review 23 (2022), 4, S. 641–667


The COVID-19 pandemic and related closures of day care centres and schools significantly increased the amount of care work done by parents. There has been much speculation over whether the pandemic increased or decreased gender equality in parental care work. Based on representative data for Germany from spring 2020 and winter 2021 we present an empirical analysis that shows that although gender inequality in the division of care work increased to some extent in the beginning of the pandemic, it returned to the pre-pandemic level in the second lockdown almost nine months later. These results suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic neither aggravated nor lessened inequality in the division of unpaid care work among mothers and fathers in any persistent way in Germany.

Katharina Wrohlich

Head in the Gender Economics Department

JEL-Classification: D13;J16;J22
Keywords: Gender division, domestic work, child care, day care, gender care gap, COVID-19