Covid-19 Epidemic and Generational Welfare
35 Pages Posted: 7 Aug 2021 Last revised: 29 Nov 2021 Publication Status: Under Review
We study the effects of COVID-19, and the ensuing lockdown and fiscal policies, on the welfare of different age-groups within a life-cycle macroeconomic scheme, adapted from Gertler (1999), where the pandemic is represented as a shock to the mortality rate. We obtain two main results. First, we show that lockdown policies have a negative impact on the dynamics of economic welfare of younger agents relative to that of older agents, thus providing analytical support to the idea that the management of the COVID-19 pandemic through lockdown policies has mainly hit the young generations. Second, we show that expansionary fiscal policies aimed at supporting income after the lockdown affect the relative welfare index of age-groups mainly through the repayment scheme of the consequent public debt; the more such repayment scheme entails a postponement of the debt repayment, the more older agents are favored (in relative terms).
Keywords: Epidemic, COVID-19, generational effects, containment policies
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