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Impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on single-person households in South Korea

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  • Jung, Haeil
  • Kim, Jun Hyung
  • Hong, Gihyeon

Abstract

Using nationally representative income and expenditure data from South Korea, we show that single-person households suffered a much greater decrease in household income and expenditure compared to multi-persons households during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Negative effects on income were largest for the single-person households in ages 50—64, mostly driven by decreases in earned income rather than business income. There was no corresponding decrease in consumption expenditures, however, other than on transportation expenditure for young men. Notably, there were significant decreases in non-consumption expenditures that are related to formal and informal consumption-smoothing mechanisms, such as spending on insurances, pensions, and household transfers. Our findings highlight the disproportionately negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the middle-aged single-person households. With reduced spending on consumption-smoothing mechanisms, this group is likely to be even more vulnerable to negative income shocks in the future.

Suggested Citation

  • Jung, Haeil & Kim, Jun Hyung & Hong, Gihyeon, 2023. "Impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on single-person households in South Korea," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:asieco:v:84:y:2023:i:c:s1049007822001130
    DOI: 10.1016/j.asieco.2022.101557
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    1. Khadija Ashraf & Kangjae Lee & Geunhan Kim & Jeon-Young Kang, 2024. "Sales in Commercial Alleys and Their Association with Air Pollution: Case Study in South Korea," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 16(2), pages 1-19, January.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    COVID-19; Single-person households; Income; Consumption; Informal insurance;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics

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