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Will COVID-19 Have Long-Lasting Effects on Inequality? Evidence from Past Pandemics

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  • Davide Furceri
  • Mr. Prakash Loungani
  • Mr. Jonathan David Ostry
  • Pietro Pizzuto

Abstract

This paper provides evidence on the impact of major epidemics from the past two decades on income distribution. The pandemics in our sample, even though much smaller in scale than COVID-19, have led to increases in the Gini coefficient, raised the income share of higher-income deciles, and lowered the employment-to-population ratio for those with basic education compared to those with higher education. We provide some evidence that the distributional consequences from the current pandemic may be larger than those flowing from the historical pandemics in our sample, and larger than those following typical recessions and financial crises.

Suggested Citation

  • Davide Furceri & Mr. Prakash Loungani & Mr. Jonathan David Ostry & Pietro Pizzuto, 2021. "Will COVID-19 Have Long-Lasting Effects on Inequality? Evidence from Past Pandemics," IMF Working Papers 2021/127, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:2021/127
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    Cited by:

    1. Mark Setterfield, 2023. "Will hysteresis effects afflict the US economy during the post-COVID recovery?," Working Papers 2306, New School for Social Research, Department of Economics.
    2. Sarra Ben Yahmed & Francesco Berlingieri & Eduard Brüll, 2024. "Local Labour Market Resilience: The Role of Digitalisation and Working from Home," CESifo Working Paper Series 11114, CESifo.
    3. Deb, Pragyan & Furceri, Davide & Ostry, Jonathan D. & Tawk, Nour, 2023. "Creative destruction during crises: An opportunity for a cleaner energy mix," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 128(C).
    4. Jaejoon Woo, 2023. "The long-run determinants of redistribution: evidence from a panel of 47 countries in 1967–2014," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 64(4), pages 1811-1860, April.
    5. Doran, Áine & Colvin, Christopher L. & McLaughlin, Eoin, 2024. "What can we learn from historical pandemics? A systematic review of the literature," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 342(C).
    6. Trzcińska Kamila & Zalewska Elżbieta, 2023. "A Comparative Analysis of Household Incomes of People with Different Levels of Education in Poland and the USA," Folia Oeconomica Stetinensia, Sciendo, vol. 23(2), pages 387-401, December.
    7. Bettarelli, Luca & Estefania-Flores, Julia & Furceri, Davide & Loungani, Prakash & Pizzuto, Pietro, 2023. "Energy inflation and consumption inequality," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C).
    8. Jonathan T. Rothwell & Alexandru Cojocaru & Rajesh Srinivasan & Yeon Soo Kim, 2024. "Global evidence on the economic effects of disease suppression during COVID-19," Palgrave Communications, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 11(1), pages 1-14, December.
    9. Brunckhorst, Ben & Cojocaru, Alexandru & Kim, Yeon Soo & Kugler, Maurice, 2024. "Long COVID: The evolution of household welfare in developing countries during the pandemic," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 175(C).
    10. Davide Furceri & Jun Ge & Prakash Loungani & Giovanni Melina, 2022. "The distributional effects of government spending shocks in developing economies," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(3), pages 1574-1599, August.
    11. Sakiru Adebola Solarin & Carmen Lafuente & Luis A. Gil-Alana & Maria Jesus Gonzalez Blanch, 2022. "Inequality Persistence of 21 OECD Countries from 1870 to 2020: Linear and Non-Linear Fractional Integration Approaches," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 164(2), pages 711-725, November.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    impact of pandemic; pandemic dummy regression; income share; pandemic event; severity of the pandemic; COVID-19; Income inequality; Income distribution; Income; Global;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms

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