Gendered Impacts of the Pandemic: Evidence from Vulnerable Households in Bangladesh
This project studies the impact of economic shocks induced by the pandemic with the help of primary data collected via phone surveys among Bangladeshi cohabiting couples. Our main outcomes of interest relate to the well-being of women and children, and include measures of intimate partner violence, agency within the household, mental health, and food insecurity. We first descriptively document significant worsening in the wellbeing of household members in the summer of 2020, with some improvements by December. Next, using a difference-in-differences approach and variation in job layoffs across occupations in our population, we examine effects of job losses within the household, and whether gender of the unemployed person matters. Preliminary findings indicate an increase in gender-based violence in households where the woman’s earnings were negatively impacted as a result of the pandemic-induced closures. Our findings support the long-standing hypothesis that relative earnings of couples impact intra-household decision-making, and in our case, also impact the incidence of domestic violence.
Dr. Priya Mukherjee is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research interests lie in Development Economics, with a focus on Political Economy, Education and Health.