Couples’ changing work patterns in the United Kingdom and the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic

Qian, Yue and Hu, Yang (2021) Couples’ changing work patterns in the United Kingdom and the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic. Gender, Work and Organization. ISSN 0968-6673

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Abstract

Going beyond a focus on individual‐level employment outcomes, we investigate couples’ changing work patterns in the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US) during the COVID‐19 pandemic. Analyzing longitudinal panels of 2,186 couples from the Understanding Society COVID‐19 Survey (UK) and 2,718 couples from the Current Population Survey (US), we assess whether the pandemic has elevated the importance of human capital vis‐à‐vis traditional gender specialization in shaping couples’ work patterns. The UK witnessed a notable increase in sole‐worker families with the better‐educated partner working, irrespective of gender. The impact of the pandemic was similar but weaker in the US. In both countries, couples at the bottom 25% of the pre‐pandemic family income distribution experienced the greatest increase in neither partner working but the least growth in sole‐worker arrangements. Through a couple‐level analysis of changing employment patterns, this study highlights the importance of human capital in shaping couples’ paid‐work organization during the pandemic, and it reveals the socioeconomic gradient in such organization.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Gender, Work and Organization
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3300/3318
Subjects:
ID Code:
152420
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
05 Mar 2021 10:26
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
20 Jun 2021 06:11