The effects of Covid-19 on couples’ job tenures: Mothers have it worse

Cristina Lafuente, Astrid Ruland, Raül Santaeulàlia-Llopis, Ludo Visschers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (SciVal)


We study the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the employment contracts and job tenures of couples, and how these are shaped by gender and the presence of children. Using the Spanish Labour Force Survey, we find that women with children have suffered relatively larger losses of higher-duration, permanent jobs since the pandemic than men or women without children. These losses emerge approximately one year after the onset of the pandemic and persist, even though the aggregate male and female employment rate has recovered. Our results point to potential labour market scars, in particular, for mothers, that hide behind standard aggregate employment measures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102404
JournalLabour Economics
Early online date20 Jun 2023
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research has been supported by Fundación BBVA (Ayudas FBBVA a Equipos de Investigación Científica SARS-CoV-2 y COVID-19), ESRC Covid-19 Grant EP/V043579/1, INE, the AGAUR 2020PANDE00036 ”Pandemies 2020” Grant and the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, through the Proyectos I+D+i 2019 Retos Investigacion PID2019-110684RB-I00 Grant, Europa Excelencia EUR2021-122011, and the Severo Ochoa Programme for Centres of Excellence in R&D (CEX2019-000915-S). We thank audiences at EALE 2022, the Conference on Economics and Pandemics in the XXI century (Barcelona) and the Simposio of the Spanish Economic Association. For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission. Find the code to replicate our findings and extensions at


  • Covid-19
  • Dual labour markets
  • Gender
  • Job tenure distributions
  • Parenthood
  • Permanent jobs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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