Social Repercussions of Pandemics

Author/Editor:

Philip Barrett ; Sophia Chen

Publication Date:

January 29, 2021

Electronic Access:

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Disclaimer: IMF Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to encourage debate. The views expressed in IMF Working Papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management.

Summary:

Epidemics may have social scarring effects, increasing the likelihood of social unrest. They may also have mitigating effect, suppressing unrest by dissuading social activities. Using a new monthly panel on social unrest in 130 countries, we find a positive cross-sectional relationship between social unrest and epidemics. But the relationship reverses in the short run, implying that the mitigating effect dominates in the short run. Recent trends in social unrest immediately before and after the COVID-19 outbreak are consistent with this historic evidence. It is reasonable to expect that, as the pandemic fades, unrest may reemerge in locations where it previously existed.

Series:

Working Paper No. 2021/021

Subject:

Frequency:

regular

English

Publication Date:

January 29, 2021

ISBN/ISSN:

9781513567723/1018-5941

Stock No:

WPIEA2021021

Format:

Paper

Pages:

24

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