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The impact of lockdown on the division of housework and childcare in French households

Before the Covid-19 outbreak, the burden of unpaid work in Europe, e.g. housework and childcare, was mostly carried-out by women - with women spending around 22 hours per week and men only 9 hours per week in unpaid work (European Commission 2019). Whether the stay-at-home measures imposed during the pandemic are changing, either exacerbating or reducing, the gender gap in housework and childcare depends on the differential impact of the economic downturn on the labour market between women and men; but also on the potential change of gender norms, e.g. attitudes toward the division of tasks within the household (Alon et al., 2020). We conduct a survey in France, on a representative sample of 1,000 individuals sampled through one of the main survey agencies in France, IPSOS, to study whether and how the lockdown is changing the uneven split of housework and childcare between partners. The survey is designed to answer the following research questions: How has the lockdown impacted respondents' and their partners' labor market situations? How the division of housework and childcare between partners has changed from before the lockdown? Has the lockdown had an impact on individuals' beliefs regarding gender norms? We implement a DID strategy which exploits the variation yield by the lockdown starting date and the working arrangement due to the stay-at-home measures, e.g. working outside the household (for key workers), working from home, and not working, to test whether the lockdown induced by the Covid-19 is changing the gender gap in household labor.

Lead investigator:

Anne Boring


Erasmus School of Economics and Sciences Po

Primary topic:

Families & households

Secondary topic:

Inequality & poverty

Region of data collection:


Country of data collection


Status of data collection


Type of data being collected:

Online survey

Unit of real-time data collection


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