New Research Project: "ReDiCOV"

ReDiCOV - Regional economic disparities in the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak: the role of digitalization and working-from-home

The Corona pandemic has substantially changed the working environment for many people, including in Germany. Many public and private employers have enabled their employees to work from home. However, the prerequisites for a functioning home office differ, sometimes considerably, for a variety of reasons. In addition to private, family-related reasons, the type of job and the availability of reliable and fast internet are key criteria for successfully working from home. Thus, the pandemic may act as an accelerator of the so-called "digital divide" - the strong disparities between urban and rural areas in terms of digital infrastructure and digital skills.

The project ‘ReDiCOV’, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), will therefore focus on investigating the different effects of the Corona pandemic on regional labor markets. First, it will be investigated whether the pandemic has had an impact on existing regional disparities. Next, possible reasons for this will be analyzed in terms of access to digital infrastructure, digital skills and the resulting suitability of occupations for working from home.

More generally, the research team hopes to gain insights into how the digitalization of the work space can change existing spatial structures of places of residence and work.

The project is being conducted at the Institute for Economic and Cultural Geography by Rolf Sternberg and Louis Knüpling and is taking place in cooperation with the Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) in Mannheim. The ZEW complements the existing competencies of the Institute of Economic and Cultural Geography with its profound knowledge in labor market research.

to the research project