From Mancession to Shecession: Women’s Employment in Regular and Pandemic Recessions

Titan Alon, Sena Coskun, Matthias Doepke, David Koll, Michèle Tertilt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

37 Scopus citations


We examine the impact of the global recession triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic on women’s versus men’s employment.Whereas recent recessions in advanced economies had a disproportionate impact on men’s employment, giving rise to the moniker “mancessions,” we show that the pandemic recession of 2020 was a “shecession,” with larger employment declines among women in most countries. We examine the causes behind this pattern using micro data fromseveral national labor force surveys and showthat both the composition of women’s employment across industries and occupations and increased childcare needs during closures of schools and daycare centers made important contributions.Gender gaps in the employment impact of the pandemic arise almost entirely among workerswho are unable towork from home.Among telecommuters, a different kind of gender gap arises: women working from home during the pandemic spent more work time also doing childcare and experienced greater productivity reductions thanmen.We identify two key challenges for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNBER Macroeconomics Annual
PublisherUniversity of Chicago Press
Number of pages69
StatePublished - 2022

Publication series

NameNBER Macroeconomics Annual
ISSN (Print)0889-3365
ISSN (Electronic)1537-2642

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


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