How Does Exposure to COVID-19 Influence Health and Income Inequality Aversion?

46 Pages Posted: 19 Aug 2021

See all articles by Miqdad Asaria

Miqdad Asaria

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - London School of Economics

Joan Costa-Font

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - London School of Economics

Frank Cowell

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - London School of Economics

Date Written: 2021

Abstract

We study the determinants of individual aversion to health and income inequality in three European countries and the effects of exposure to COVID-19 including the effect employment, income and health shocks using representative samples of the population in each country. Comparing levels of health- and income-inequality aversion in the UK between the years 2016 and 2020 we find a significant increase in inequality aversion in both income and health domains. Inequality aversion is higher in the income domain than in the health domain and inequality aversion in both income and health domains is increasing in age and education and decreasing in income and risk appetite. However, people directly exposed to major health shocks during the COVID-19 pandemic generally exhibited lower levels of aversion to both income and health inequality. But for those at high risk of COVID-19 mortality who experienced major health shocks during the pandemic, inequality aversion was significantly higher than for those of similar individuals experiencing a health shock prior to the pandemic.

JEL Classification: I180, I300, I380

Suggested Citation

Asaria, Miqdad and Costa-Font, Joan and Cowell, Frank, How Does Exposure to COVID-19 Influence Health and Income Inequality Aversion? (2021). CESifo Working Paper No. 9250, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3907733

Miqdad Asaria

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - London School of Economics

United Kingdom

Joan Costa-Font (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - London School of Economics ( email )

United Kingdom

Frank Cowell

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - London School of Economics

United Kingdom

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