Report: Labour Supply in the Early Stages of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Empirical Evidence on Hours, Home Office, and Expectations

Gaudecker, H. M. V., Holler, R., Janys, L., Siflinger, B. M., & Zimpelmann, C. (2020). Labour Supply in the Early Stages of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Empirical Evidence on Hours, Home Office, and Expectations (No. 13158). Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

Press Releases:

  • Institute of Labor Economics (IZA). (2020, April 17). Low-income earners suffer most from the COVID-19 crisis - Having the option to work from home is largely a matter of education. [Press Release]. (link) (EN)

  • ECONribute. (2020, April 17). Econtribute Studie – Coronavirus: Geringverdiener Sind Doppelte Verlierer Der Coronakrise. [Press Release]. (link) (DE)

  • Tilburg University. (2020, April 21). Lage inkomens lijden het meest onder de coronacrisis [Press Release]. (link) (NL)


Using a survey module administered in late March 2020, we analyze how working hours change under the social distancing regulations enacted to fight the CoViD-19 pandemic. We study the Netherlands, which are a prototypical Western European country, both in terms of its welfare system and its response to the pandemic. We show that total hours decline and more so for the self-employed and those with lower educational degrees. The education gradient appears because workers with a tertiary degree work a much higher number of hours from home. The strength of this effect is dampened by the government defining some workers to be essential for the working of the economy. Across sectors, we show that there are two clusters: One dominated by office-type occupations with high shares of academics, home-office hours, and low fractions of essential workers; and one where manual tasks and social interactions are prevalent with low shares of academics, home office hours, and often high shares of essential workers. Short-term expectations show that workers expect current patterns to prevail and that they expect a lot from government support schemes. In particular, many workers expect to keep their jobs in early June due to government support and the expected unemployment response is far lower than in the U.S. or the U.K.

Report in Cooperation with CPB: Arbeidsmarkt: sterke daling gewerkte uren

Jongen, E., Ebregt, J., Scheer, B., & Gaudecker, H. M. V.. (2020). Arbeidsmarkt: sterke daling gewerkte uren. CPB coronapublicatie.

Press Release:

  • Centraal Planbureau, CPB. (2020, May 14). Historische daling gewerkte uren. [Press Release]. (link) (NL)

Blogposts, Articles, and other Media

  • Article by DNBulletin: Dutch consumers expect to be hit long-term by economic crisis due to coronavirus outbreak (link) (May 18, 2020)

  • Blogpost by Ingo Isphoring & Maria Balgova: Support for curfew depends on beliefs about others’ compliance - Young males are more likely to disobey (download) (April 2020)

  • Data Exploration Tool: Explore What People Believe and Do in Response to CoViD-19 (link) (April 2020)