A new GLO Discussion Paper details what happened to the wage distribution in Italy during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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GLO Discussion Paper No. 829, 2021
Who lost the most? Distributive effects of COVID-19 pandemic – Download PDF
by Ainaa, Carmen & Brunetti, Irene & Mussida, Chiara & Scicchitano, Sergio
GLO Fellows Chiara Mussida & Sergio Scicchitano
Author Abstract: This paper investigates what happened to the wage distribution in Italy during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. It shows which categories of workers and economic sectors have suffered more than others and to what extent both the actual level of smart-working and the ability to Working From-Home can influence the wage distribution. We use a unique dataset relying on the merging of two sample surveys: the Italian Labor Force Survey set up by National Institute of Statistics and the Italian Survey of Professions conducted by the National Institute for Public Policy Analysis. We estimate quantile regression models accounting for selection. First, the findings reveal that the pandemic has affected the wages of the whole workers, but the effect is higher at the bottom of the wage distribution. Second, the actual working from home mitigates the negative distributional consequences of the COVID-19 observed for those at the bottom of the wage distribution. However, the advantage of workers at the bottom tail of the wage distribution seems to lessen in the long term once the health emergency is passed. Third, looking at sectoral heterogeneity, retail and the restaurant are the most hit sectors in terms of wage loss. Fourth, separating by gender, men have been mostly hit by the pandemic, particularly at lowest deciles, though they benefited more from working at home at higher deciles. Finally, women appear as the one that in the long run would benefit more from increasing working from home possibility.
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GLO Discussion Papers are research and policy papers of the GLO Network which are widely circulated to encourage discussion. Provided in cooperation with EconStor, a service of the ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, GLO Discussion Papers are among others listed in RePEc (see IDEAS, EconPapers). Complete list of all GLO DPs – downloadable for free.