By Chie Aoyagi
Japan’s voluntary month-and-a-half shutdown of the economy in April due to COVID-19 has had a higher cost for women than men. A key reason: a “guilt gap” between women and men, where women often feel compelled to take on more professional sacrifices.
Close to one million women—the majority of whom worked in temporary and part-time positions—left the labor force between December and April.
Amid massive disruptions to childcare and schools, research in an IMF Working Paper has helped solidify a universal truth: Women rather than men often face greater responsibility and guilt for being neither the ideal mother nor the ideal employee.
If the labor market was more supportive of work-life balance, then we may have seen a more balanced outcome during the pandemic with both men and women stepping in to help with children. Policies to promote better work-life balance and gender equality will also be critical to help enhance female employment opportunities and careers in the “new normal” after the pandemic is under control.
Working toward an inclusive recovery
The working paper’s findings are increasingly relevant in planning a more inclusive economic recovery. What aspects of a job improve work-life balance, and how much income should the job offer? In answering […]
Asia was hit hard by the first wave of the coronavirus, as the sudden stop in activity struck households and firms simultaneously—first in China, then elsewhere in Asia, and now globally. Policymakers responded swiftly with aggressive spending to support the medical response and vulnerable households and firms. And central banks took swift actions to expand liquidity.
I have been saying for a while that this is a “crisis like no other.” It is:
More complex, with interlinked shocks to our health and our economies that have brought our way of life to an almost complete stop;
More uncertain, as we are learning only gradually how to treat the novel virus, make containment most effective, and restart our economies; and
Truly global. Pandemics don’t respect borders, neither do the economic shocks they cause.
The world has changed dramatically in the three months since our last update of the World Economic Outlook in January. A rare disaster, a coronavirus pandemic, has resulted in a tragically large number of human lives being lost. […]
This blog is part of a special series on the response to the coronavirus.
The global spread of the coronavirus is a human tragedy unfolding across the world. Quantifying the economic impact is complex, giving rise to significant uncertainty about the economic outlook and the associated downside risks. […]
While we have seen some recent volatility, many risky asset markets around the world had a spectacular year in 2019. Equity market indices were up just over 30 percent in the United States, close to 25 percent in Europe and China, and over 15 percent in emerging markets and Japan. Emerging-market sovereign debt, U.S. high-yield debt, and emerging-market corporate debt all had returns in excess of 12 percent. Remarkably, the fourth quarter of 2019 was especially strong in China and in emerging markets.
Over the past decade, inequality has become one of the most complex and vexing challenges in the global economy.
Inequality of opportunity. Inequality across generations. Inequality between women and men. And, of course, inequality of income and wealth . They are all present in our societies and—unfortunately— in many countries they are […]