COVID-19 Disruptions Disproportionately Affect Female Academics, Global, 2020 (ICPSR 38143)

Version Date: Oct 6, 2021 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
Tatyana Deryugina, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Olga Shurchkov, Wellesley College; Jenna Stearns, University of California, Davis

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The rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent countermeasures, such as school closures, the shift to working from home, and social distancing are disrupting economic activity around the world. As with other major economic shocks, there are winners and losers, leading to increased inequality across certain groups. In this project, researchers investigated the effects of COVID-19 disruptions on the gender gap in academia. They administered a global survey to a broad range of academics across various disciplines to collect nuanced data on the respondents' circumstances, such as a spouse's employment, the number and ages of children, and time use.

Deryugina, Tatyana, Shurchkov, Olga, and Stearns, Jenna. COVID-19 Disruptions Disproportionately Affect Female Academics, Global, 2020. Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2021-10-06.

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Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
2020-05-27 -- 2020-07-21
  1. This study was originally published through OpenICPSR.

The purpose of this study was to test if the disproportionate productivity slowdown among female scholars since the onset of the pandemic would be due to the disproportionate childcare burden falling upon women amid school and daycare closures. Researchers analyzed survey evidence pertaining to the use of time by academic researchers before and after the disruptions caused by COVID-19.

Researchers sent a survey via email to approximately 900,000 individuals who had published at least one academic article in the past five years. The distribution window, including two follow-up reminders, ran from May 27, 2020 to July 21, 2020, yielding a total of 27,991 responses.


Active academic researchers with a doctorate degree


Variables include questions about the amount of hours spent weekly on various work related and personal activities and how COVID affected work and personal activities. Demographic variables include age, number of children, gender, and European Economic Area residency.



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