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Ruhr Economic Papers #956


Mireille Kozhaya

The Double Burden: The Impact of School Closures on Labor Force Participation of Mothers

This paper investigates the effect of school closure on the labor force participation, hours worked, extensive, and the intensive margin of women in Mexico for the years 2017 to 2021. Using a difference-in-differences approach, I analyze how school closure, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, affects the labor supply of women with school-aged children, 6 to 14 years old, versus women with nursery-aged children, 0 to 5 years old. This approach allows me to isolate the impact of school closure from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The findings show that on average mothers with children younger than 14 decrease their labor force participation by about 2.6 percentage points. Mothers with school-aged children, however, decrease their labor force participation by an additional 1.7 percentage points and increase their domestic work. While the increase in domestic work occurs immediately after the school closure, the impact on the labor force is only observed several months later. The decrease is observed for all women with low or middle education level, formal and informal employment, and income quantiles. However, I find no decrease for single-mothers and mothers with access to informal child care

ISBN: 978-3-96973-120-8

JEL-Klassifikation: J1, J16, J2, J23

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