Will COVID-19 Affect Inequality? Evidence from Past Pandemics

Author/Editor:

Davide Furceri ; Prakash Loungani ; Jonathan David Ostry ; Pietro Pizzuto

Publication Date:

May 1, 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:

This paper provides evidence on the impact of major epidemics from the past two decades on income distribution. The pandemics in our sample, even though much smaller in scale than COVID-19, have led to increases in the Gini coefficient, raised the income share of higher-income deciles, and lowered the employment-to-population ratio for those with basic education compared to those with higher education. We provide some evidence that the distributional consequences from the current pandemic may be larger than those flowing from the historical pandemics in our sample, and larger than those following typical recessions and financial crises.

Series:

Working Paper No. 2021/127

Frequency:

regular

English

Publication Date:

May 1, 2021

ISBN/ISSN:

9781513582375/1018-5941

Stock No:

WPIEA2021127

Pages:

46

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