IT Shields: Technology Adoption and Economic Resilience during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Author/Editor:

Nicola Pierri ; Yannick Timmer

Publication Date:

September 25, 2020

Electronic Access:

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Summary:

We study the economic effects of information technology (IT) adoption during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using data on IT adoption covering almost three million establishments in the US, we find that technology adoption can partly shield the economy from the impact of the pandemic. In areas where firms adopted more IT the unemployment rate rose less in response to social distancing. Our estimates imply that if the pandemic had hit the world 5 years ago, the resulting unemployment rate would have been 2 percentage points higher during April and May 2020 (16% vs. 14%), due to the lower availability of IT. Local IT adop-tion mitigates the labor market consequences of the pandemic for all individuals, regardless of gender and race, except those with the lowest level of educational attainment.

Series:

Working Paper No. 20/208

Subject:

Frequency:

regular

English

Publication Date:

September 25, 2020

ISBN/ISSN:

9781513557755/1018-5941

Stock No:

WPIEA2020208

Format:

Paper

Pages:

41

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