Unequal Consequences of COVID-19 across Age and Income: Representative Evidence from Six Countries

Covid-19 and the measures taken to contain it have led to unprecedented constraints on work and leisure activities, across the world. This paper uses nationally representative surveys to document how people of different ages and incomes have been affected across six countries (China, South Korea, Japan, Italy, UK and US). It first documents changes in income/work and leisure. Secondly, self-reported negative and positive non-financial effects of the crisis. It then examines attitudes towards recommendations (wearing a mask in particular) and the approach taken by public authorities. The authors find similarities across countries in how people of different generations have been affected. Young people have experienced more drastic changes to their lives, and overall they are less supportive of these measures. These patterns are less clear across income groups: while some countries have managed to shield lower income individuals from negative consequences, others have not. The paper also shows that how people have been affected by the crisis (positively or negatively) does little to explain whether or not they support measures implemented by the public authorities. Young people are overall less supportive of such measures independently of how they have been affected.

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Sir Chris Pissarides


Automation and COVID-19

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