Date of Award

Summer 8-4-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Jessica Van Parys

Second Advisor

Kenneth McLaughlin

Academic Program Adviser

Karna Basu


This thesis uses the exogenous nature of the COVID-19 shock to study the association between municipal/cooperative broadband restrictions and labor supply during the pandemic. I estimate difference-in-differences regressions using individual data between January 2019 and December 2021 from the Current Population Survey combined with policy variables from the Pew Charitable Trusts' State Broadband Policy Explorer. During the pandemic, states with restrictions experience a relative decrease in labor force participation, employment, and hours worked among married women with children. Labor force attachment for women without children and married men with children are unaffected. Results support the parallel trends assumption and are driven by a relative decrease in maternal labor force participation in states with restrictions during the Fall of 2021. A shift to care-giving, social norms and the wage gap might have compelled mothers to decrease labor force attachment and yield home office space to their spouses or children.

Available for download on Sunday, August 03, 2025