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Lockdown Accounting

Author

Listed:
  • Charles Gottlieb

    (University of St. Gallen)

  • Jan Grobovsek

    (University of Edinburgh)

  • Markus Poschke

    (McGill University)

  • Fernando Saltiel

    (McGill University)

Abstract

We use an accounting framework to evaluate the aggregate impact of a common lockdown policy for 85 countries. We find that poorer countries devote more labor to essential activities that are unaffected by the lockdown, while richer countries can more easily substitute non-essential employment with work from home. The lockdown generates an employment response that is U-shaped in income: it drops by 32% in the poorest quintile of the distribution, by 36% in the middle quintile, and by 31% in the richest quintile. Annualized GDP declines by 39% in the bottom three quintiles and by 31% in the richest quintile. Agriculture, an essential sector, is key in sustaining employment and economic activity in poorer countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Charles Gottlieb & Jan Grobovsek & Markus Poschke & Fernando Saltiel, 2020. "Lockdown Accounting," Cahiers de recherche 18-2020, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  • Handle: RePEc:mtl:montec:18-2020
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Alexander Bick & Adam Blandin & Karel Mertens, 2020. "Work from Home Before and After the COVID-19 Outbreak," Working Papers 2017, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, revised 25 Feb 2021.
    2. Adams-Prassl, A. & Boneva, T. & Golin, M & Rauh, C., 2020. "Work Tasks That Can Be Done From Home: Evidence on the Variation Within and Across Occupations and Industries," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 2040, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    3. Restuccia, Diego & Yang, Dennis Tao & Zhu, Xiaodong, 2008. "Agriculture and aggregate productivity: A quantitative cross-country analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 234-250, March.
    4. Berthold Herrendorf & Todd Schoellman, 2015. "Why is Measured Productivity so Low in Agriculture?," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 18(4), pages 1003-1022, October.
    5. Fernando E. Alvarez & David Argente & Francesco Lippi, 2020. "A Simple Planning Problem for COVID-19 Lockdown," NBER Working Papers 26981, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Dingel, Jonathan I. & Neiman, Brent, 2020. "How many jobs can be done at home?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 189(C).
    7. Brotherhood, Luiz & Kircher, Philipp & Santos, Cezar & Tertilt, Michèle, 2020. "An economic model of the Covid-19 epidemic: The importance of testing and age-specific policies," CEPR Discussion Papers 14695, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Hensvik, Lena & Le Barbanchon, Thomas & Rathelot, Roland, 2020. "Which jobs are done from home? Evidence from the American Time Use Survey?," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1261, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    9. Daniel Garrote Sanchez & Nicolas Gomez Parra & Caglar Ozden & Bob Rijkers & Mariana Viollaz & Hernan Winkler, 2021. "Who on Earth Can Work from Home?," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 36(1), pages 67-100.
    10. Herrendorf, Berthold & Rogerson, Richard & Valentinyi, Ákos, 2014. "Growth and Structural Transformation," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 6, pages 855-941, Elsevier.
    11. Maho Hatayama & Mariana Viollaz & Hernan Winkler, 2020. "Jobs’ Amenability to Working from Home: Evidence from Skills Surveys for 53 Countries," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0263, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    12. R Maria del Rio-Chanona & Penny Mealy & Anton Pichler & François Lafond & J Doyne Farmer, 2020. "Supply and demand shocks in the COVID-19 pandemic: an industry and occupation perspective," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(Supplemen), pages 94-137.
    13. Brotherhood, Luiz & Kircher, Philipp & Santos, Cezar & Tertilt, Michèle, 2020. "An economic model of the Covid-19 epidemic: The importance of testing and age-specific policies," CEPR Discussion Papers 14695, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cecilia Peluffo & Mariana Viollaz, 2021. "Intra-household exposure to labor market risk in the time of Covid-19: lessons from Mexico," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 327-351, June.
    2. Leonardo Fabio Morales & Leonardo Bonilla-Mejía & Jose Pulido & Luz A. Flórez & Didier Hermida & Karen L. Pulido-Mahecha & Francisco Lasso-Valderrama, 2020. "Effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic on the Colombian Labor Market: Disentangling the Effect of Sector-Specific Mobility Restrictions," Borradores de Economia 1129, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    3. Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan & Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Veronika Penciakova & Nick Sander, 2020. "COVID-19 and SME Failures," IMF Working Papers 2020/207, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Antonio Estache & Simon Tooth, 2020. "On the scope for work-from-home in high and upper middle-income countries," Working Papers ECARES 2020-46, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    5. Blagica Petreski & Marjan Petreski & Bojan Srbinoski, 2020. "The potential of export-oriented companies to contribute to post-Covid-19 economic recovery in North Macedonia," Finance Think Policy Studies 2020-12/33, Finance Think - Economic Research and Policy Institute.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Covid-19; structural change; work from home; lockdown;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure

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