COVID-19 Disruptions Disproportionately Affect Female Academics

Tatyana Deryugina, Olga Shurchkov, Jenna E Stearns

Research output: Working paper


The rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent countermeasures, such as school closures, the shift to working from home, and social distancing are disrupting economic activity around the world. As with other major economic shocks, there are winners and losers, leading to increased inequality across certain groups. In this project, we investigate the effects of COVID-19 disruptions on the gender gap in academia. We administer a global survey to a broad range of academics across various disciplines to collect nuanced data on the respondents’ circumstances, such as a spouse’s employment, the number and ages of children, and time use. We find that female academics, particularly those who have children, report a disproportionate reduction in time dedicated to research relative to what comparable men and women without children experience. Both men and women report substantial increases in childcare and housework burdens, but women experienced significantly larger increases than men did.
Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherNational Bureau of Economic Research
Number of pages32
StatePublished - Jan 2021

Publication series

NameNBER Working Paper


  • COVID-19
  • severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)
  • Pandemic
  • Coronavirus
  • Novel coronavirus


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