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This paper explores the shock of school closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to study the effect of domestic responsibilities on analysts’ attention at work. School closures significantly reduce the forecast timeliness of female analysts rather than that of male analysts. Using manually-collected data on whether analysts have children, I show that mothers are 20% less likely to issue timely forecasts after school closures. Professional women are more likely to get distracted from work by domestic duties, which makes it harder for them to be as successful as their male counterparts in competitive industries.

Author: Mengqiao Du

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