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A Poorly Understood Disease? The Impact of COVID-19 on the Income Gradient in Mortality over the Course of the Pandemic

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  • Paul Brandily

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)

  • Clément Brébion

    (CBS - Copenhagen Business School [Copenhagen])

  • Simon Briole

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, J-PAL Europe - Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab - Europe)

  • Laura Khoury

    (Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration - Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)

Abstract

Mortality inequalities remain substantial in many countries, and large shocks such as pandemics could amplify them further. The unequal distribution of COVID-19 confirmed cases suggests that this is the case. Yet, evidence on the causal effect of the epidemic on mortality inequalities remains scarce. In this paper, we exploit exhaustive municipality-level data in France, one of the most severely hit country in the world, to identify a negative relationship between income and excess mortality within urban areas, that persists over COVID-19 waves. Over the year 2020, the poorest municipalities experienced a 30% higher increase in excess mortality. Our analyses can rule out the contribution of policy responses (such as lockdown) in this heterogeneous impact. Finally, we show that both labour-market exposure and housing conditions are major determinants of the direct effect of the epidemic on mortality inequalities, but that their respective role depends on the state of the epidemic.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Brandily & Clément Brébion & Simon Briole & Laura Khoury, 2021. "A Poorly Understood Disease? The Impact of COVID-19 on the Income Gradient in Mortality over the Course of the Pandemic," Working Papers halshs-02895908, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-02895908
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.science/halshs-02895908v2
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    Cited by:

    1. Alexandru Bănică & Ionel Muntele, 2023. "Local and regional factors of spatial differentiation of the excess mortality related to the COVID-19 pandemic in Romania," Letters in Spatial and Resource Sciences, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 1-21, December.
    2. Albani, Viviana & Welsh, Claire E. & Brown, Heather & Matthews, Fiona E. & Bambra, Clare, 2022. "Explaining the deprivation gap in COVID-19 mortality rates: A decomposition analysis of geographical inequalities in England," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 311(C).
    3. Simon Briole & Augustin Colette & Emmanuelle Lavaine, 2023. "The Heterogeneous Effects of Lockdown Policies on Air Pollution," CEE-M Working Papers hal-04084912, CEE-M, Universtiy of Montpellier, CNRS, INRA, Montpellier SupAgro.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    labor market; mortality; inequality; poverty; COVID-19; housing conditions; mortality inequality; housing conditions I14; I18; R00 COVID-19;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • R00 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General - - - General

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