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Labour market effects of COVID-19 in sub-Saharan Africa: An informality lens from Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal

Author

Listed:
  • Balde, Racky

    () (UNU-MERIT, Maastricht University)

  • Boly, Mohamed

    () (Universite Clermont Auvergne, CNRS, IRD, CERDI)

  • Avenyo, Elvis

    () (UNU-MERIT, Maastricht University, and Department of International Development, University of Oxford)

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic is a global crisis that has put a local spotlight on sub-Saharan Africa’s socio-economic challenges. This paper presents real time survey evidence on the labour market effects of COVID-19 in Senegal, Mali, and Burkina Faso. We investigate how informality exacerbates the immediate effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on job loss, decrease in earnings, and difficulties for individuals to support their basic needs. We document a reduction in economic activities and find that workers in the informal economy tend to be more hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Informal workers are more likely to lose their jobs and tend to experience decrease in earnings. These findings also hold for those who work in high-risk sectors. Informal workers equally appear to be more likely to struggle to meet their basic needs in the midst of the pandemic. We discuss the policy implications of these findings.

Suggested Citation

  • Balde, Racky & Boly, Mohamed & Avenyo, Elvis, 2020. "Labour market effects of COVID-19 in sub-Saharan Africa: An informality lens from Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal," MERIT Working Papers 2020-022, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  • Handle: RePEc:unm:unumer:2020022
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    File URL: https://www.merit.unu.edu/publications/wppdf/2020/wp2020-022.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    RePEc Biblio mentions

    As found on the RePEc Biblio, the curated bibliography for Economics:
    1. > Economics of Welfare > Health Economics > Economics of Pandemics > Specific pandemics > Covid-19 > Developing economies

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    Cited by:

    1. Nam, Minhyuk & Lee, Soohyung, 2021. "COVID-19 and Employment in South Korea: Trends and Comparison with the 2008 Financial Crisis," IZA Discussion Papers 14101, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Michael Danquah & Simone Schotte & Kunal Sen, 2020. "COVID-19 and Employment: Insights from the Sub-Saharan African Experience," The Indian Journal of Labour Economics, Springer;The Indian Society of Labour Economics (ISLE), vol. 63(1), pages 23-30, October.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    COVID-19; Crisis; Labour Market; Informality; Africa;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J46 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Informal Labor Market
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa

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