The Impact of Covid-19 on Productivity
49 Pages Posted: 23 Dec 2020
Date Written: December 21, 2020
We analyse the impact of Covid-19 on productivity in the United Kingdom using data derived from a large monthly firm panel survey. Our estimates suggest that Covid-19 will reduce TFP in the private sector by up to 5% in 2020 Q4, falling back to a 1% reduction in the medium term. Firms anticipate a large reduction in ‘within-firm’ productivity, primarily because measures to contain Covid-19 are expected to increase intermediate costs. The negative ‘within-firm’ effect is partially offset by a positive ‘between-firm’ effect as low productivity sectors, and the least productive firms among them, are disproportionately affected by Covid-19 and consequently make a smaller contribution to the economy. In the longer run, productivity growth is likely to be reduced by diminished R&D expenditure and diverted CEOs’ time spent on dealing with the pandemic.
Keywords: Productivity, reallocation, Covid-19, growth
JEL Classification: L2, M2, O32, O33
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