IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/zbw/glodps/682.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Distributional Consequences of Social Distancing on Poverty and Labour Income Inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean

Author

Listed:
  • Delaporte, Isaure
  • Escobar, Julia
  • Peña, Werner

Abstract

This paper evaluates the distributional consequences of social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic on poverty and labour income inequality in 20 Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries. We gather detailed information from national laws and decrees on the strictness and the duration of the lockdown in each country and use rich harmonised household surveys from the IADB. We estimate the share of individuals that are potentially able to remain active under the first phase of the lockdown by constructing the Lockdown Working Ability (LWA) index which takes into account individuals' ability to work from home but also whether their occupation is affected by workplace closures or mobility restrictions. We find that, on average, 1 worker out of 2 is able to work under the lockdown in the LAC region. We document considerable variation in the share of individuals able to work under the lockdown across countries and within countries across occupations, economic activities and specific population groups. Based on the LWA index, we then estimate individual's potential labour income losses and examine changes in poverty and labour income inequality. We find an increase in poverty and labour income inequality in the majority of the LAC countries due to social distancing. At the national level, the highest increase in the headcount poverty index is 1.4 pp and the highest increase in the Gini coefficient is 2 pp. Decomposing overall labour income inequality in the LAC region, we find that social distancing has lead to a small decrease (-0.1 pp) in inequality between countries but to an increase (2 pp) in inequality within countries. Finally, we document that 63% of the dispersion in the labour income loss across countries is explained by the sectoral/occupational structure of the economies, while the rest is explained by the type of lockdown policy that was implemented.

Suggested Citation

  • Delaporte, Isaure & Escobar, Julia & Peña, Werner, 2020. "The Distributional Consequences of Social Distancing on Poverty and Labour Income Inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean," GLO Discussion Paper Series 682, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:682
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/225006/1/GLO-DP-0682.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bargain, Olivier & Aminjonov, Ulugbek, 2020. "Trust and Compliance to Public Health Policies in Times of COVID-19," IZA Discussion Papers 13205, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Caselli, Francesco, 2005. "Accounting for Cross-Country Income Differences," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 9, pages 679-741, Elsevier.
    3. Teresa Barbieri & Gaetano Basso & Sergio Scicchitano, 2020. "Italian workers at risk during the COVID-19 epidemic," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 569, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    4. David H. Autor & David Dorn, 2013. "The Growth of Low-Skill Service Jobs and the Polarization of the US Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(5), pages 1553-1597, August.
    5. David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2003. "The skill content of recent technological change: an empirical exploration," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
    6. Eduardo Levy Yeyati & Luca Sartorio, 2020. "Take me out: De facto limits on strict lockdowns in developing countries," Department of Economics Working Papers wp_gob_2020_08, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.
    7. Dingel, Jonathan I. & Neiman, Brent, 2020. "How many jobs can be done at home?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 189(C).
    8. Adams-Prassl, Abi & Boneva, Teodora & Golin, Marta & Rauh, Christopher, 2020. "Inequality in the impact of the coronavirus shock: Evidence from real time surveys," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 189(C).
    9. Gottlieb, Charles & Grobovšek, Jan & Poschke, Markus & Saltiel, Fernando, 2021. "Working from home in developing countries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 133(C).
    10. Baert, Stijn & Lippens, Louis & Moens, Eline & Sterkens, Philippe & Weytjens, Johannes, 2020. "How do we think the COVID-19 crisis will affect our careers (if any remain)?," GLO Discussion Paper Series 520, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    11. Fabio Milani, 2021. "COVID-19 outbreak, social response, and early economic effects: a global VAR analysis of cross-country interdependencies," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 34(1), pages 223-252, January.
    12. Yasenov, Vasil, 2020. "Who Can Work from Home?," IZA Discussion Papers 13197, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    13. Palomino, Juan C. & Rodríguez, Juan G. & Sebastian, Raquel, 2020. "Wage inequality and poverty effects of lockdown and social distancing in Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 129(C).
    14. Adams-Prassl, A. & Boneva, T. & Golin, M & Rauh, C., 2020. "Inequality in the Impact of the Coronavirus Shock: New Survey Evidence for the UK," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 2023, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    15. Henning Holgersen & Zhiyang Jia & Simen Svenkerud, 2020. "Who and how many can work from home in Norway?. Evidence from task descriptions," Discussion Papers 935, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    16. Perugini, Cristiano & Vladisavljević, Marko, 2020. "Social Stability Challenged: Pandemics, Inequality and Policy Responses," IZA Discussion Papers 13249, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    17. Caselli, Francesco, 2005. "Accounting for cross-country income differences," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 5266, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    18. Bargain, Olivier & Aminjonov, Ulugbek, 2020. "Trust and compliance to public health policies in times of COVID-19," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 192(C).
    19. Olivier BARGAIN & Ulugbek AMINJONOV, 2020. "Trust and Compliance to Public Health Policies in Times of COVID-19," Bordeaux Economics Working Papers 2020-06, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée (GREThA).
    20. Olivier Bargain & U. Aminjonov, 2020. "Trust and compliance to public health policies in times of COVID-19," Post-Print hal-03173632, HAL.
    21. Bourguignon, Francois, 1979. "Decomposable Income Inequality Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(4), pages 901-920, July.
    22. Domenico Depalo, 2021. "True COVID-19 mortality rates from administrative data," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 34(1), pages 253-274, January.
    23. Ferdi Botha & John P. New & Sonja C. New & David C. Ribar & Nicolás Salamanca, 2021. "Implications of COVID-19 labour market shocks for inequality in financial wellbeing," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 34(2), pages 655-689, April.
    24. Redmond, Paul & McGuinness, Seamus, 2020. "Who can work from home in Ireland?," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number SUSTAT87.
    25. Caselli, Francesco, 2005. "Accounting for cross-country income differences," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3567, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    26. Yasenov, Vasil, 2020. "Who Can Work from Home?," OSF Preprints 89k47, Center for Open Science.
    27. C. Palomino, Juan & G. Rodríguez, Juan & Sebastian, Raquel, 2020. "Wage inequality and poverty effects of lockdown and social distancing in Europe," INET Oxford Working Papers 2020-13, Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford, revised Jul 2020.
    28. Müller, Stephan & Rau, Holger A., 2021. "Economic preferences and compliance in the social stress test of the COVID-19 crisis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 194(C).
    29. Delaporte, Isaure & Peña, Werner, 2020. "Working From Home Under COVID-19: Who Is Affected? Evidence From Latin American and Caribbean Countries," GLO Discussion Paper Series 528, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Ainaa, Carmen & Brunetti, Irene & Mussida, Chiara & Scicchitano, Sergio, 2021. "Who lost the most? Distributive effects of COVID-19 pandemic," GLO Discussion Paper Series 829, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    2. Luca Bonacini & Giovanni Gallo & Sergio Scicchitano, 2021. "Working from home and income inequality: risks of a ‘new normal’ with COVID-19," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 34(1), pages 303-360, January.
    3. Alipour, Jean-Victor & Fadinger, Harald & Schymik, Jan, 2021. "My home is my castle – The benefits of working from home during a pandemic crisis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 196(C).
    4. Carbonero, Francesco & Scicchitano, Sergio, 2021. "Labour and technology at the time of Covid-19. Can artificial intelligence mitigate the need for proximity?," GLO Discussion Paper Series 765, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    5. Gaetano Basso & Tito Boeri & Alessandro Caiumi & Marco Paccagnella, 2020. "The new hazardous jobs and worker reallocation," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 247, OECD Publishing.
    6. Kubinec, Robert & Barceló, Joan & Goldszmidt, Rafael & Grujic, Vanja & Model, Timothy & Schenk, Caress & Cheng, Cindy & Hale, Thomas & Hartnett, Allison Spencer & Messerschmidt, Luca, 2021. "Statistically Validated Indices for COVID-19 Public Health Policies," SocArXiv rn9xk, Center for Open Science.
    7. Bonacini, Luca & Gallo, Giovanni & Scicchitano, Sergio, 2020. "All that glitters is not gold. Effects of working from home on income inequality at the time of COVID-19," GLO Discussion Paper Series 541, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    8. Mauro Caselli & Andrea Fracasso & Sergio Scicchitano, 2020. "From the lockdown to the new normal: An analysis of the limitations to individual mobility in Italy following the Covid-19 crisis," Discussion Paper series in Regional Science & Economic Geography 2020-07, Gran Sasso Science Institute, Social Sciences, revised Oct 2020.
    9. Crowley, Frank & Daly, Hannah & Doran, Justin & Ryan, Geraldine & Caulfield, Brian, 2021. "The impact of labour market disruptions and transport choice on the environment during COVID-19," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 185-195.
    10. Suphanit Piyapromdee & Peter Spittal, 2020. "The Income and Consumption Effects of COVID‐19 and the Role of Public Policy," Fiscal Studies, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 41(4), pages 805-827, December.
    11. Zsofia Barany & Christian Siegel, 2021. "Engines of sectoral labor productivity growth," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 39, pages 304-343, January.
    12. Goenka, Aditya & Liu, Lin & Nguyen, Manh-Hung, 2021. "Modeling optimal quarantines with waning immunity," TSE Working Papers 21-1206, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    13. Aditya Goenka & Lin Liu & Manh-Hung Nguyen, 2021. "Modeling optimal quarantines with waning immunity," Discussion Papers 21-10, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
    14. 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.
    15. Nicholas W. Papageorge & Matthew V. Zahn & Michèle Belot & Eline Broek-Altenburg & Syngjoo Choi & Julian C. Jamison & Egon Tripodi, 2021. "Socio-demographic factors associated with self-protecting behavior during the Covid-19 pandemic," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 34(2), pages 691-738, April.
    16. Deopa, Neha & Fortunato, Piergiuseppe, 2021. "Coronagraben in Switzerland: Culture and social distancing in times of COVID-19," GLO Discussion Paper Series 857, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    17. Dany Bahar, 2017. "The Hardships of Long Distance Relationships: Knowledge Transmission and the Ease of Communication within Multinational Firms," CID Working Papers 85a, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    18. Shockey, James W, 2021. "Social Aspects of COVID Mitigation," SocArXiv sgjvp, Center for Open Science.
    19. Hakan Yilmazkuday, 2020. "COVID‐19 and unequal social distancing across demographic groups," Regional Science Policy & Practice, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(6), pages 1235-1248, December.
    20. Francesco Sarracino & Talita Greyling & Kelsey J. O'Connor & Chiara Peroni & Stephanie Rossouw, 2021. "Trust predicts compliance to Covid-19 containment policies: evidence from ten countries using big data," Department of Economics University of Siena 858, Department of Economics, University of Siena.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    COVID-19; Social Distancing; Teleworking; Employment; Labour Income Inequality; Poverty;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D33 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Factor Income Distribution
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:682. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/glabode.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/glabode.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.