Open Access

The gender gap in academic productivity during the pandemic: Is childcare responsible?


I investigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent surge in childcare demand on the research productivity of female economics. Using data from SSRN and a Difference-in-Differences approach, I show that around the timing of confinements, the gender production gap widens by around 20 percentage points, an adverse effect persisting up to 4 months later the beginning of social restriction measures. Declines in production, however, vanish during the school re-opening period suggesting a prominent role in childcare demand.