The Short-Term Economic Consequences of Covid-19: Exposure to Disease, Remote Work and Government Response

92 Pages Posted: 27 Apr 2020

See all articles by Louis-Philippe Béland

Louis-Philippe Béland

Carleton University

Abel Brodeur

University of Ottawa - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Taylor Wright

University of Ottawa

Abstract

In this ongoing project, we examine the short-term consequences of COVID-19 on employment and wages in the United States. Guided by a pre-analysis plan, we document the impact of COVID-19 at the national-level using a simple difference and test whether states with relatively more confirmed cases/deaths were more affected. Our findings suggest that COVID-19 increased the unemployment rate, decreased hours of work and labor force participation and had no significant impacts on wages. The negative impacts on labor market outcomes are larger for men, younger workers, Hispanics and less-educated workers. This suggest that COVID-19 increases labor market inequalities. We also investigate whether the economic consequences of this pandemic were larger for certain occupations. We built three indexes using ACS and O*NET data: workers relatively more exposed to disease, workers that work with proximity to coworkers and workers who can easily work remotely. Our estimates suggest that individuals in occupations working in proximity to others are more affected while occupations able to work remotely are less affected. We also find that occupations classifed as more exposed to disease are less affected, possibly due to the large number of essential workers in these occupations.

Keywords: COVID-19, unemployment, wages, remote work, exposure to disease

JEL Classification: I15, I18, J21

Suggested Citation

Béland, Louis-Philippe and Brodeur, Abel and Wright, Taylor, The Short-Term Economic Consequences of Covid-19: Exposure to Disease, Remote Work and Government Response. IZA Discussion Paper No. 13159, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3584922

Louis-Philippe Béland (Contact Author)

Carleton University

1125 colonel By Drive
Ottawa, K1S 5B6
Canada

Abel Brodeur

University of Ottawa - Department of Economics ( email )

200 Wilbrod Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 6N5
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/abelbrodeur/

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Taylor Wright

University of Ottawa

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