Economics at your fingertips  

COVID Social Distancing and the Poor: An Analysis of the Evidence for England

Parantap Basu, Clive Bell and Edwards Terence Huw
Additional contact information
Edwards Terence Huw: School of Business and Economics, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK

The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, 2022, vol. 22, issue 1, 211-240

Abstract: Social distancing is a matter of individuals’ choices as well as of regulation. We analyse weekly panel data on such behaviour for English Upper Tier Local Authorities (UTLAs) from March to July 2020, paying attention to the influence of poverty, as measured by free school meals provision. Panel regressions suggest that, although more stringent regulation and slightly lagged local cases of infection increase social distancing, both effects are weaker in UTLAs with higher levels of poverty, in part because of poor housing, and also because shortage of money has forced the poor to keep working. Thus motivated, we develop a two-class (rich/poor) model, in which a Nash non-cooperative equilibrium arises from individual choices in a regulatory regime with penalties for non-compliance. The model yields results in keeping with the empirical findings, indicating the desirability of generous measures to furlough workers in low-paid jobs as a complement to the stringency of general regulation.

Keywords: COVID19; policy stringency; poverty; social distancing (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C23 H00 I00 I12 I14 I18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) (text/html)
For access to full text, subscription to the journal or payment for the individual article is required.

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from

DOI: 10.1515/bejm-2020-0250

Access Statistics for this article

The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics is currently edited by Arpad Abraham and Tiago Cavalcanti

More articles in The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics from De Gruyter
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Peter Golla ().

Page updated 2023-03-06
Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejmac:v:22:y:2022:i:1:p:211-240:n:1