Planning for Pandemics: Income Support and Job Retention Schemes in G7 Countries and Evolution of Economic and Health Inequality

The research project will deliver in two main areas. First, a comprehensive analysis of job retention and income support schemes across G-7 countries with the effects broken down at a disaggregated level to see which programmes would be most resilient way to plan for future pandemic shocks. Second, it will give an understanding of evolution of disparities in economic and health outcomes broken down by wealth/income groups, spatially, and by health risk class. This is essential to plan for economic and health systems both during and after pandemics.
Project status

The Covid-19 pandemic was an unprecedented event for which there was no treatment for the infection. Most G7 countries mandated lockdowns (Japan is somewhat an exception) as a method to control infections. As individuals were not allowed to go out or to work in many sectors, there was a possibility of income collapse and extensive lay-offs. Most of the G7 countries introduced income support and job retention programmes where the government subsidised pay at qualifying firms to prevent layoffs to counter this. This project will do a comparative analysis of these schemes which differ in their design and analyse their economic consequences. A concern of policymakers is how economic (income and wealth) and health inequality due to the pandemic. The project will analyse how these inequalities change due to the pandemic taking wealth, spatial, and demographic heterogeneity into account. This will help design resilient responses to future pandemics.

Research team: Professor Aditya Goenka, University of Birmingham; Professor Christoph Görtz, University of Birmingham

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