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Exploring the hidden impact of the Covid-19 pandemic: The role of urbanization

Kerim Arin (), Juan A. Lacomba, Francisco Lagos, Ana Moro-Egido () and Marcel Thum ()

Economics & Human Biology, 2022, vol. 46, issue C

Abstract: We examine the role of residential environments (urban/rural) in understanding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions in nationwide movement on several socio-economic attitudes. We conducted large-scale surveys in four European countries (France, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom) before and after nationwide lockdowns were implemented. We investigate how the pandemic affected: (i) economic (economic insecurity), (ii) political (trust in domestic and international institutions), and (iii) social attitudes (loneliness), by controlling for the degree of urbanization, obtained from the geocodes of the survey respondents. Our results show that taking the degree of urbanization into account is not only relevant but is also essential. Compared to urban areas, in rural areas lockdowns led to a greater increase of economic insecurity and to a greater decrease in trust in domestic institutions. We also show that these results are particularly valid for women and households with children.

Keywords: Lockdown; COVID-19; Urban-rural differences; Economic insecurity; Trust; Social loneliness (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C21 D90 H12 I31 R19 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.ehb.2022.101119

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