HKS Affiliated Authors


April 13, 2021, Paper: "Covid-19 has exacerbated existing inequalities. This paper reviews the evidence to date on how long-standing fractures have been put into sharp relief by the pandemic and discusses policies to address them. The inequalities described take many forms and express themselves along various dimensions that interact with each other. Across the income distribution, pre-tax income inequalities, consumption and savings, job losses, and opportunities for remote work have evolved very differently. Across genders, and across parents and non-parents, the toll of school closures, lack of child care, and additional housework has been uneven. Across regions, sectors, and occupations, the pandemic has brought vastly different burdens and opportunities. The policies discussed in this paper are medium and longer-term policy actions to address the longstanding inequalities that predate and have been widened by Covid-19, rather than short-run crisis mitigation responses. These policy actions need to occur at multiple levels, given the challenges and complexities of the issues, and we offer a framework to think about these various possible stages of interventions. The paper is organized as follows. The first four sections review the evidence on the evolution of inequalities along several dimensions: across income levels (Section 2); across sectors and regions (Section 3); across genders (Section 4); and across children from different backgrounds (Section 5). Section 6 considers policy responses at different stages of the economic process. The Appendix provides additional materials on each of these topics." Read Via Scholars at Harvard

Non-HKS Author Website - Stefanie Stantcheva