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Sectoral Digital Intensity and GDP Growth After a Large Employment Shock: A Simple Extrapolation Exercise

Author

Listed:
  • Giovanni Gallipoli

    (Vancouver School of Economics, UBC)

  • Christos Makridis

    (Arizona State University)

Abstract

We examine the dynamics of GDP following an economy-wide pandemic shock that curtails physical mobility and the ability to perform certain tasks at work. We examine whether greater reliance on digital technologies has the potential to mediate employment and productivity losses. We employ industry-level indices of task-based digital intensity and ability to work from home (“home-shorability”), in conjunction with publicly available data on employment and GDP for Canada, and document that: (i) employment responses after the onset of the shock are milder in digitally-intensive sectors; (ii) conditional on the size of employment changes, GDP responses are less extreme in IT-intensive sectors. We suggest a simple state-dependent algorithm for predicting output dynamics as a function of employment across industries and locations with different digital intensity. In our baseline scenario, aggregate output returns to pre-crisis levels eight quarters after the initial shock onset, although we find significant heterogeneity in recovery patterns across sectors.

Suggested Citation

  • Giovanni Gallipoli & Christos Makridis, 2020. "Sectoral Digital Intensity and GDP Growth After a Large Employment Shock: A Simple Extrapolation Exercise," Working Papers 2020-056, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
  • Handle: RePEc:hka:wpaper:2020-056
    Note: M
    as

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    File URL: http://humcap.uchicago.edu/RePEc/hka/wpaper/Gallipoli_Makridis_2020_sectoral-digital-intensity-gdp-growth.pdf
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    File URL: http://humcap.uchicago.edu/RePEc/hka/wpaper/Gallipoli_Makridis_2020_sectoral-digital-intensity-gdp-growth_rev1.pdf
    File Function: Second version, August 28, 2020
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gallipoli, Giovanni & Makridis, Christos A., 2018. "Structural transformation and the rise of information technology," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 91-110.
    2. Julian Kozlowski & Laura Veldkamp & Venky Venkateswaran, 2020. "Scarring Body and Mind: The Long-Term Belief-Scarring Effects of COVID-19," NBER Working Papers 27439, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Dingel, Jonathan I. & Neiman, Brent, 2020. "How many jobs can be done at home?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 189(C).
    4. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    output; digital intensity; employment; Canada; coronavirus; Structural change;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E66 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General Outlook and Conditions
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand

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