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February 18th 2021, 13:00-14:00: Julia Schmidtke (IAB): “The impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic and Nationwide Lockdown on Well-being and Mental Health in Germany”

Abstract: Since it’s outbreak in China at the end of 2019, Covid-19 has spread rapidly over the entire planet. In response to the threat of the highly contagious and often lethal disease, drastic measures including contact restrictions, closure of businesses, schools and kindergartens were implemented. Large shares of the workforce were in short-time work, furloughing without pay or even lost their job. An increasing number of workers worked from home. Working parents of young children were presented with the task to arrange job needs with home schooling and increased childcare responsibilities. It therefore seems all too likely that the effects of the pandemic are not only limited to those who were infected with Covid-19, but impact all those who experienced radical changes in their working and social life. Using monthly data from the German Job Search Panel, we apply an event-study design to test this hypothesis. We find that the first federal lockdown in Germany during March 2020 had no substantial effects on life satisfaction, but reduced people’s mental health and affective well-being.