Agostina Brinatti, Alberto Cavallo, Javier Cravino, Andres Drenik, 19 May 2022

Web-based job platforms that match employers and workers around the world to trade tasks which are delivered online are becoming increasingly popular. This column uses a new dataset from one of the largest job platforms to examine remote wages across locations and offshorability of work. Remote wages are more equalised than local wages across countries, but wage gaps across locations are still large. Outside the US, local-currency remote wages are strongly affected by fluctuations in the dollar exchange rate. Whether a job is performed remotely is an imperfect proxy for whether a job can be easily offshored. 

Shivani Taneja, Paul Mizen, Nicholas Bloom, 15 March 2021

Attitudes towards working from home have changed substantially since the start of the pandemic. This column discusses the findings from a survey of 5,000 working adults in the UK in January and February 2021, which suggest that about half of the UK labour force are currently working from home. Two days a week at home is the most commonly expected working pattern post-COVID, with implications for many large and medium-sized businesses.

Dimitris Papanikolaou, Lawrence D.W. Schmidt, 23 July 2020

COVID-19 has massively disrupted the supply side of the world economy, shutting down entire industries. This column analyses how these disruptions affected different types of firms and workers by looking at how effectively different sectors can shift to remote work. While the major policy interventions in the US have treated all types of business as equivalent, industries which are not able to do their work remotely have been hit much harder than business that can. This cross-sectional dispersion shows up across a variety of measures, including changes in employment, revenue projections, likelihood of default, current liquidity, and stock returns. Going forward, aid that targets disrupted sectors may be a more cost-effective means to alleviate the impacts of COVID-19.

Toshihiro Okubo, 25 June 2020

The Japanese government’s policy response to the COVID-19 pandemic was to ask people to refrain from leaving their homes and to encourage teleworking. This column examines the effect of COVID-19 on the uptake of teleworking in a country that has the lowest use among developed countries. Overall, teleworking increased about 4 percentage points from January to March 2020, driven by industries and occupations related to information and located in the Tokyo metropolitan area. Teleworking is not suited to face-to-face services and manual labour, which saw substantial declines in worker incomes.

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