My Home is My Castle -- the Benefits of Working from Home During a Pandemic Crisis: Evidence from Germany

51 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2020 Last revised: 16 Aug 2020

See all articles by Harald Fadinger

Harald Fadinger

University of Mannheim

Jan Schymik

University of Mannheim

JV Alipour

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: June 2020

Abstract

This paper studies the relation between work and public health during the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany. Combining administrative data on SARS-CoV-2 infections and short-time work registrations, firm- and worker-level surveys and cell phone tracking data on mobility patterns, we find that working from home (WFH) is very effective in economic and public health terms. WFH effectively shields workers from short-time work, firms from COVID-19 distress and substantially reduces infection risks. Counties whose occupation structure allows for a larger fraction of work to be done from home experienced (i) much fewer short-time work registrations and (ii) less SARS-CoV-2 cases. Health benefits of WFH appeared mostly in the early stage of the pandemic and became smaller once tight confinement rules were implemented. Before confinement, mobility levels were lower in counties with more WFH jobs and counties experienced a convergence in traffic levels once confinement was in place.

Keywords: BIBB-BAuA, COVID-19, infections, labor supply shock, mitigation, SARS-CoV-2, Working from Home

JEL Classification: H12, I18, J22, J68, R12, R23

Suggested Citation

Fadinger, Harald and Schymik, Jan and Alipour, Jean-Victor, My Home is My Castle -- the Benefits of Working from Home During a Pandemic Crisis: Evidence from Germany (June 2020). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP14871, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3628192

Harald Fadinger (Contact Author)

University of Mannheim ( email )

Universitaetsbibliothek Mannheim
Zeitschriftenabteilung
Mannheim, 68131
Germany

Jan Schymik

University of Mannheim ( email )

Universitaetsbibliothek Mannheim
Zeitschriftenabteilung
Mannheim, 68131
Germany

Jean-Victor Alipour

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) ( email )

Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1
Munich, DE Bavaria 80539
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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