No. 749 - Parental labor market penalties during two years of COVID-19

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by Maria De Paola and Salvatore LattanzioMarch 2023

Various studies have shown that the consequences of the pandemic for male and female labor market outcomes have been deeply heterogeneous, in particular in the presence of children. Using social security data on the universe of employees in the non-farm private sector, this paper quantifies the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the gross earnings of fathers and mothers in Italy in 2020 and 2021.

Between March 2020 and May 2021, mothers experienced a reduction in their monthly earnings that was twice as large as that of fathers. The gender gap is mostly explained by a larger decrease in the number of days worked by mothers since they have a higher probability of using parental leave and of being in short-time work. Starting from June 2021, when the pandemic-related containment measures were lifted, gender differences in earnings narrowed, though they have not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels.

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