Pandemic Depression: COVID-19 and the Mental Health of the Self-Employed


We investigate the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on self-employed people’s mental health. Using representative longitudinal survey data from Germany, we reveal differential effects by gender: whereas self-employed women experienced a substantial deterioration in their mental health, self-employed men displayed no significant changes up to early 2021. Financial losses are important in explaining these differences. In addition, we find larger mental health responses among self-employed women who were directly affected by government-imposed restrictions and bore an increased childcare burden due to school and daycare closures. We also find that self-employed individuals who are more resilient coped better with the crisis.

Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice
Johannes Seebauer
Johannes Seebauer
Ph.D. Candidate

My research interests include labor economics, public economics, and economics of inequality.