A Year of COVID: The Evolution of Labour Market and Financial Inequalities through the Crisis

36 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2021

See all articles by Thomas F. Crossley

Thomas F. Crossley

European University Institute - Economics Department (ECO); Institute for Fiscal Studies

Paul Fisher

University of Essex

Peter Levell

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS)

Hamish Low

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS); University of Oxford

Date Written: November 3, 2021

Abstract

We use new, high-quality UK panel data to document the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic at an individual level, from April 2020 to March 2021. We focus on where and to what extent pre-existing labour market and financial inequalities have been exacerbated. Our story is more nuanced than earlier papers focusing on the start of the pandemic. To March 2021 some inequalities worsened, but others did not, and in some cases, a widening of labour market inequalities in the first wave of the pandemic was subsequently reversed. We find no evidence of divergence in employment outcomes by gender. On the other hand, the first wave of the pandemic impacted the employment of ethnic minorities, the young, and those with less formal education, but these differential impacts had largely abated by March 2021. By various measures, financial position and living standards strengthened, not only for the affluent, but also for middle deciles of the long-run income distribution, although those at the very bottom of the income distribution were more likely to report a decline in net wealth over the course of the pandemic

Keywords: COVID-19, Savings, Inequality

JEL Classification: C83, D31, J63

Suggested Citation

Crossley, Thomas F. and Fisher, Paul and Levell, Peter and Low, Hamish and Low, Hamish, A Year of COVID: The Evolution of Labour Market and Financial Inequalities through the Crisis (November 3, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3955892 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3955892

Thomas F. Crossley

European University Institute - Economics Department (ECO) ( email )

Villa San Paolo
Via della Piazzuola 43
50133 Florence
Italy

Institute for Fiscal Studies ( email )

7 Ridgmount Street
London, WC1E 7AE
United Kingdom

Paul Fisher (Contact Author)

University of Essex ( email )

Wivenhoe Park
Colchester, CO4 3SQ
United Kingdom

Peter Levell

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) ( email )

7 Ridgmount Street
London, WC1E 7AE
United Kingdom

Hamish Low

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS)

7 Ridgmount Street
London, WC1E 7AE
United Kingdom

University of Oxford ( email )

10 Manor Rd
Oxford, OX1 3UQ
United Kingdom

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
27
Abstract Views
157
PlumX Metrics