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Assessing concerns for the economic consequence of the COVID-19 response and mental health problems associated with economic vulnerability and negative economic shock in Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom


  • codagnone, cristiano
  • Bogliacino, Francesco

    (Universidad Nacional de Colombia)

  • Gómez, Camilo Ernesto

    (Centro de Investigaciones para el Desarrollo)

  • Charris, Rafael Alberto

    (Universidad Nacional de Colombia)

  • Montealegre, Felipe

    (Universidad Nacional de Colombia)

  • Liva, Giovanni
  • Villanueva, Francisco Lupiañez
  • Folkvord, F.
  • Veltri, Giuseppe Alessandro Prof

    (University of Trento)


Currently, many different countries are under lockdown or extreme social distancing measures to control the spread of COVID-19. The potentially far-reaching side effects of these measures have not yet been fully understood. In this study we analyse the results of a multi-country survey conducted in Italy (N=3,504), Spain (N=3,524) and the United Kingdom (N=3,523), with two separate analyses. In the first analysis, we examine the elicitation of citizens’ concerns over the downplaying of the economic consequences of the lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic. We control for Social Desirability Bias through a list experiment included in the survey. In the second analysis, we examine the data from the same survey to estimate the consequences of the economic lockdown in terms of mental health, by predicting the level of stress, anxiety and depression associated with being economically vulnerable and having been affected by a negative economic shock. To accomplish this, we have used a prediction algorithm based on machine learning techniques. To quantify the size of this affected population, we compare its magnitude with the number of people affected by COVID-19 using measures of susceptibility, vulnerability and behavioural change collected in the same questionnaire. We find that the concern for the economy and for “the way out” of the lockdown is diffuse and there is evidence of minor underreporting. Additionally, we estimate that around 42.8% of the populations in the three countries are at high risk of stress, anxiety and depression, based on their level of economic vulnerability and their exposure to a negative economic shock. Therefore, it can be concluded that the lockdown and extreme social distancing in the three countries has had an enormous impact on individuals’ mental health and this should be taken into account for future decisions made on regulations concerning the pandemic.

Suggested Citation

  • codagnone, cristiano & Bogliacino, Francesco & Gómez, Camilo Ernesto & Charris, Rafael Alberto & Montealegre, Felipe & Liva, Giovanni & Villanueva, Francisco Lupiañez & Folkvord, F. & Veltri, Giuseppe, 2020. "Assessing concerns for the economic consequence of the COVID-19 response and mental health problems associated with economic vulnerability and negative economic shock in Italy, Spain, and the United K," SocArXiv x9m36, Center for Open Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:osf:socarx:x9m36
    DOI: 10.31219/

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Titan Alon & Matthias Doepke & Jane Olmstead-Rumsey & Michèle Tertilt, 2020. "The Impact of COVID-19 on Gender Equality," CRC TR 224 Discussion Paper Series crctr224_2020_163, University of Bonn and University of Mannheim, Germany.
    2. Rafael Dix-Carneiro & Rodrigo R. Soares & Gabriel Ulyssea, 2018. "Economic Shocks and Crime: Evidence from the Brazilian Trade Liberalization," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 158-195, October.
    3. Lukasz A. Drozd & Marina Tavares, 2020. "Responding to COVID-19: A Note," Working Papers 20-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
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    Cited by:

    1. Abel Brodeur & David Gray & Anik Islam & Suraiya Bhuiyan, 2021. "A literature review of the economics of COVID‐19," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(4), pages 1007-1044, September.
    2. Rossouw, Stephanié & Greyling, Talita, 2022. "Collective emotions and macro-level shocks: COVID-19 vs the Ukrainian war," GLO Discussion Paper Series 1210, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    3. Cristiano Codagnone & Francesco Bogliacino & Camilo Gómez & Frans Folkvord & Giovanni Liva & Rafael Charris & Felipe Montealegre & Francisco Lupiañez Villanueva & Giuseppe A. Veltri, 2021. "Restarting “Normal” Life after Covid-19 and the Lockdown: Evidence from Spain, the United Kingdom, and Italy," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 158(1), pages 241-265, November.
    4. Davide Torre & Danilo Liuzzi & Rosario Maggistro & Simone Marsiglio, 2022. "Mobility Choices and Strategic Interactions in a Two-Group Macroeconomic–Epidemiological Model," Dynamic Games and Applications, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 110-132, March.
    5. Onur Akdaş & Magdalena Cismaru, 2022. "Promoting mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic: the transtheoretical model of change and social marketing approach," International Review on Public and Nonprofit Marketing, Springer;International Association of Public and Non-Profit Marketing, vol. 19(3), pages 447-474, September.
    6. Francesco Bogliacino & Cristiano Codagnone & Frans Folkvord & Francisco Lupiáñez-Villanueva, 2023. "The impact of labour market shocks on mental health: evidence from the Covid-19 first wave," Economia Politica: Journal of Analytical and Institutional Economics, Springer;Fondazione Edison, vol. 40(3), pages 899-930, October.
    7. Joan Costa-Font & Martin Knapp & Cristina Vilaplana-Prieto, 2023. "The ‘welcomed lockdown’ hypothesis? Mental wellbeing and mobility restrictions," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 24(5), pages 679-699, July.
    8. Wei Liang & Yanping Duan & Min Yang & Borui Shang & Chun Hu & Yanping Wang & Julien Steven Baker, 2021. "Behavioral and Mental Responses towards the COVID-19 Pandemic among Chinese Older Adults: A Cross-Sectional Study," JRFM, MDPI, vol. 14(12), pages 1-14, November.
    9. Joan Costa-i-Font & Martin Knapp & Cristina Vilaplana-Prieto, 2022. "The 'Welcomed Lockdown' Hypothesis: When Do Mobility Restrictions Influence Mental Wellbeing?," CESifo Working Paper Series 9796, CESifo.
    10. Francesco Bogliacino & Rafael Charris & Camilo Gómez & Felipe Montealegre & Cristiano Codagnone, 2021. "Expert endorsement and the legitimacy of public policy. Evidence from Covid19 mitigation strategies," Journal of Risk Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(3-4), pages 394-415, April.
    11. Castillo, Jose Gabriel & Hernandez, Manuel A., 2023. "The unintended consequences of confinement: Evidence from the rural area in Guatemala," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 95(C).
    12. Carmelo Vazquez & Carmen Valiente & Felipe E. García & Alba Contreras & Vanesa Peinado & Almudena Trucharte & Richard P. Bentall, 2021. "Post-Traumatic Growth and Stress-Related Responses During the COVID-19 Pandemic in a National Representative Sample: The Role of Positive Core Beliefs About the World and Others," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 22(7), pages 2915-2935, October.
    13. Bazzana, Davide & Cohen, Jed J. & Golinucci, Nicolò & Hafner, Manfred & Noussan, Michel & Reichl, Johannes & Rocco, Matteo Vincenzo & Sciullo, Alessandro & Vergalli, Sergio, 2022. "A multi-disciplinary approach to estimate the medium-term impact of COVID-19 on transport and energy: A case study for Italy," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 238(PC).
    14. Muhammad Khalid Anser & Muhammad Azhar Khan & Khalid Zaman & Abdelmohsen A. Nassani & Sameh E. Askar & Muhammad Moinuddin Qazi Abro & Ahmad Kabbani, 2021. "Financial development during COVID-19 pandemic: the role of coronavirus testing and functional labs," Financial Innovation, Springer;Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, vol. 7(1), pages 1-13, December.
    15. Catarina Midões & Mateo Seré, 2022. "Living with Reduced Income: An Analysis of Household Financial Vulnerability Under COVID-19," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 161(1), pages 125-149, May.
    16. Sándor Kovács & Mohammad Fazle Rabbi & Domicián Máté, 2021. "Global Food Security, Economic and Health Risk Assessment of the COVID-19 Epidemic," Mathematics, MDPI, vol. 9(19), pages 1-16, September.
    17. Costa-Font, Joan & Knapp, Martin & Vilaplana-Prieto, Cristina, 2023. "The ‘welcomed lockdown’ hypothesis? Mental wellbeing and mobility restrictions," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 115323, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    18. Étienne St-Jean & Maripier Tremblay, 2023. "Turbulence and adaptations to the coronavirus crisis: resources, coping and effects on stress and wellbeing of entrepreneurs," International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, Springer, vol. 19(3), pages 1153-1175, September.
    19. Lisa M. Fucito & Krysten W. Bold & Sydney Cannon & Alison Serrantino & Rebecca Marrero & Stephanie S. O’Malley, 2022. "Cigarette Smoking in Response to COVID-19: Examining Co-Morbid Medical Conditions and Risk Perceptions," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 19(14), pages 1-12, July.
    20. Natale Canale & Claudia Marino & Michela Lenzi & Alessio Vieno & Mark D. Griffiths & Marta Gaboardi & Matteo Giraldo & Carmen Cervone & Santinello Massimo, 2022. "How Communication Technology Fosters Individual and Social Wellbeing During the Covid-19 Pandemic: Preliminary Support For a Digital Interaction Model," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 727-745, February.

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