COVID-19 and Flight to Advanced Economies: A First Assessment

21 Pages Posted: 16 Feb 2021

See all articles by Maela Giofré

Maela Giofré

University of Turin - Department of Economics and Statistics; CeRP-CCA; Netspar

Date Written: August 1, 2020


This paper investigates the extent of the flight to quality effect, in the aftermath of the COVID outbreak, towards advanced economies. Within a generalized decline in foreign investment, we observe that advanced countries, with higher GDP per capita, belonging to the G7 group, or to the Euro area are significantly less severly hit by the pandemic than emerging and developing countries. In particular, comparing the growth in foreign liabilities at the end of the first and second quarter of 2020, the wedge between advanced economies and emerging countries is about 4%, and is even larger for G7 countries. These findings are particularly strong and systematic in the first quarter, and survive to the inclusion of COVID government stringency measures, alternative measures of pandemics severity, and different sample specifications.

Keywords: International Investments, COVID-19, flight to quality, stringency index

JEL Classification: G11, G15, G30

Suggested Citation

Giofré, Maela, COVID-19 and Flight to Advanced Economies: A First Assessment (August 1, 2020). Available at SSRN: or

Maela Giofré (Contact Author)

University of Turin - Department of Economics and Statistics ( email )

Lungo Dora Siena 100/A
Torino, Turin - Piedmont 10153

CeRP-CCA ( email )

Via Real Collegio 30
Moncalieri (TO), Turin 10024

Netspar ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE

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