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COVID-19 and the Role of Economic Conditions in French Regional Departments


  • Victor Ginsburgh
  • Glenn Magerman
  • Ilaria Natali


The recent outbreak of Covid-19 has infected the world at an incredible speed. While there are many similarities across countries in terms of the characteristics of the epidemic spread, there are also large differences across regions. In this paper, we examine regional variation in the outbreak across continental France. We use information on the number of deaths and discharged patients from Covid-19 and socio-economic variables at the department level. Controlling for other factors, we corroborate existing evidence that, unfortunately, inequality kills: departments with more inequality face a higher incidence rate of the disease, expressed as the number of deaths and discharged (gravely ill) patients. Using covariance analysis combining both deaths and releases, we find no statistically differential relationship across factors that contribute to deaths or recoveries.

Suggested Citation

  • Victor Ginsburgh & Glenn Magerman & Ilaria Natali, 2020. "COVID-19 and the Role of Economic Conditions in French Regional Departments," Working Papers ECARES 2020-17, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:eca:wpaper:2013/305805

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    Cited by:

    1. Philip Verwimp, 2020. "The Spread of COVID-19 in Belgium: a Municipality-Level Analysis," HiCN Working Papers 333, Households in Conflict Network.
    2. Jacek Rothert & Ryan Brady & Michael Insler, 2020. "The Fragmented United States of America: The impact of scattered lock-down policies on country-wide infections," Departmental Working Papers 65, United States Naval Academy Department of Economics.
    3. Margaret E. Slade, 2022. "Many losers and a few winners: The impact of COVID‐19 on Canadian industries and regions," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 55(S1), pages 282-307, February.
    4. Desmet, Klaus & Wacziarg, Romain, 2022. "JUE Insight: Understanding spatial variation in COVID-19 across the United States," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C).
    5. Jacek Rothert & Ryan Brady & Michael Insler, 2020. "Local containment policies and country-wide spread of Covid-19 in the United States: an epidemiological analysis," GRAPE Working Papers 48, GRAPE Group for Research in Applied Economics.
    6. Ehlert, Andree, 2021. "The socio-economic determinants of COVID-19: A spatial analysis of German county level data," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 78(C).

    More about this item


    Covid-19; France; departmental effects on the pandemic;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality

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