Social Restrictions and Well-Being: Disentangling the Mechanisms

32 Pages Posted: 29 Nov 2022

See all articles by Francesca Foliano

Francesca Foliano

University College London - UCL Institute of Education

Valentina Tonei

University of Southampton

Almudena Sevilla

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

Abstract

Using a nationally representative 24-hour diary survey covering the first two years of the pandemic, we explore the mechanisms underlying the changes in wellbeing for men and women. We exploit the variation in the stringency of social restrictions implemented by the UK government during this period and use an event-study methodology to net out the impact of social restrictions from other pandemic effects. We find that well-being dropped by 47% (men) and 70% (women) of a standard deviation during the strictest lockdown, and this effect survives after accounting for financial conditions and changes in local infection and death rates. Our data on time allocation and individual preferences over the activities undertaken throughout the day reveal that the drop in well-being is primarily driven by a drastic reduction in time spent in leisure with non-household members or outside the home.

Keywords: well-being, social isolation, time use, instantaneous enjoyment, COVID-19

JEL Classification: I10, I14, I18, I30

Suggested Citation

Foliano, Francesca and Tonei, Valentina and Sevilla, Almudena, Social Restrictions and Well-Being: Disentangling the Mechanisms. IZA Discussion Paper No. 15734, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4285831 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4285831

Francesca Foliano (Contact Author)

University College London - UCL Institute of Education ( email )

Valentina Tonei

University of Southampton ( email )

Southampton Business School
Southampton
United Kingdom

Almudena Sevilla

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

United Kingdom

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