The Effects of Emergency Government Cash transfers on Beliefs and Behaviours during the COVID pandemic: Evidence from Brazil

45 Pages Posted: 10 Nov 2021 Last revised: 23 Jun 2022

See all articles by Fernanda L. L. de Leon

Fernanda L. L. de Leon

University of Kent - Canterbury Campus

Bansi Malde

University of Kent

Ben Mcquillin

University of East Anglia (UEA) - School of Economic and Social Studies

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 5, 2021

Abstract

This paper examines the impacts of emergency cash transfers on individuals' social distancing behaviour and beliefs about COVID-19. We focus on the impacts of "Auxilio Emergencial" (AE): a large-scale cash-transfer in Brazil, targeting low-income individuals who were unemployed or informally employed during the pandemic. Using data from an online survey, we exploit discontinuity on individuals' eligibility to the AE programme to identify causal effects. Our results suggest that access to the emergency cash transfer led to a reduced likelihood of individuals contracting COVID-19, likely to have been driven by an impact on individuals' employment decisions. Moreover, the cash transfer seems to have increased perceptions about the seriousness of coronavirus, while also exacerbating misconceptions about the pandemic. Our results point to the effects of emergency cash transfers in determining individuals' narratives about a pandemic, in enabling social distancing and potentially in reducing the spread of the disease.

Keywords: cash transfer, COVID-19, Brazil, beliefs

JEL Classification: I38, I18, H84

Suggested Citation

L. L. de Leon, Fernanda and Malde, Bansi and Mcquillin, Ben, The Effects of Emergency Government Cash transfers on Beliefs and Behaviours during the COVID pandemic: Evidence from Brazil (November 5, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3957404 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3957404

Fernanda L. L. de Leon (Contact Author)

University of Kent - Canterbury Campus ( email )

Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NP
United Kingdom

Bansi Malde

University of Kent ( email )

Canterbury, CT2 7NP
United Kingdom

Ben Mcquillin

University of East Anglia (UEA) - School of Economic and Social Studies ( email )

Norwich, Norfolk NR4 7TJ
United Kingdom

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