Discussion paper

DP15636 What Explains Differences in Finance Research Productivity During the Pandemic?

How has COVID-19 impacted faculty productivity? Does it differ by characteristics such as gender and family structure? To answer these questions, we conduct a survey of American Finance Association (AFA) members. Overall, faculty respondents report lower research productivity with less time allocated to research and more time allocated to teaching. There is also heterogeneity: 14.5% of respondents report an increase in productivity. We find the negative effects on research productivity are particularly large for women and faculty with young children regardless of gender. Thus, the pandemic has the effect of widening the gender gap for women and creates a “family gap” in productivity for both men and women with young children. Lower research productivity for faculty with young children is explained, to a large extent, by increased time spent on childcare. Our results suggest the need for deliberate policy to factor in these underlying mechanisms. We caution that a one-size-fits-all tenure-clock extension can have unintended negative consequences of increasing disparity.


Barber, B, A Morse, M Puri, H Tookes and I Werner (2021), ‘DP15636 What Explains Differences in Finance Research Productivity During the Pandemic?‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 15636. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp15636