Prof Sarah Smith & Prof Cameron Hepburn in conversation: "Baby steps: the gender division of childcare during the COVID-19 pandemic"

Past Event

07 October 2020, 4:00pm - 5:00pm


Event Recording:

The nature and scale of the shocks to the demand for, and the supply of, home childcare during the COVID-19 pandemic provide a unique opportunity to increase our understanding of the division of home labour and the determinants of specialisation within the household.

Real-time data was collected on daily lives to document the impact of measures to control COVID-19 on UK families with children under the age of 12. This documented that these families have been doing the equivalent of a working week in childcare, with mothers bearing most of the burden.

The additional hours of childcare done by women are less sensitive to their employment than they are for men, leaving many women juggling work and (a lot more) childcare, with likely adverse effects on their mental health and future careers. However, some households, those in which men have not been working, have taken greater steps towards an equal allocation, offering the prospect of sharing the burden of childcare more equally in the future.

Join Professor Sarah Smith, Professor of Economics from the University of Bristol, Professor Almudena Sevilla, Professor in Economics and Public Policy at UCL, and Professor Cameron Hepburn where they will discuss the implications of these findings and what the future will hold.

This talk is in conjunction with The Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at the University of Oxford and the Oxford Review of Economic Policy.

To register and watch this talk live and participate in the Q & A:

To watch later:

Sarah Smith

Professor Sarah Smith
Professor of Economics , University of Bristol

Sarah Smith is a Professor of Economics at the University of Bristol. She previously worked as an Economist at the IFS, as an Economic Adviser at HM Treasury, as Head of Regulatory Economics at the Financial Services Authority and as a Lecturer at the London School of Economics.

Her main research interests lie in the applied micro-economic analysis of public policy. Within this field, she has worked on the economics of not-for-profits and welfare reform. Her research has been published in the Economic Journal, the Journal of Public Economics, the American Economic Review and the Journal of Political Economy. She has also recently completed policy reports for, among others, HM Treasury, the Department for Education and Skills and the Charities Aid Foundation.

Cameron Hepburn

Professor Cameron Hepburn
Director, Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment

Cameron Hepburn is Professor of Environmental Economics at the University of Oxford; Director of the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment; and Managing Editor of the Oxford Review of Economic Policy. He also serves as the Director of the Economics of Sustainability Programme, based at the Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School and Lead Researcher on the Oxford Martin School Post-Carbon Transition Project & Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Plastics.

Cameron has published widely on energy, resources and environmental challenges across disciplines including engineering, biology, philosophy, economics, public policy and law, drawing on degrees in law and engineering (Melbourne University) and masters and doctorate in economics (Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar). He has co-founded three successful businesses and has provided advice on energy and environmental policy to government ministers (e.g. China, India, UK and Australia) and international institutions (e.g. OECD, UN).