EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

The First Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic and Its Impact on Socioeconomic Inequality in Psychological Distress in the UK

Apostolos Davillas () and Andrew Jones ()

No 14057, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: We use data from the UK Household Longitudinal Study (UKHLS) to compare measures of socioeconomic inequality in psychological distress, measured by the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ), before (Waves 9 and the Interim 2019 Wave) and during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic (April to July 2020). Based on a caseness measure, the prevalence of psychological distress increased from 18.5% to 27.7% between the 2019 Wave and April 2020 with some reversion to earlier levels in subsequent months. Also, there was a systematic increase in total inequality in the Likert GHQ-12 score. However, measures of relative socioeconomic inequality have not increased. A Shapley-Shorrocks decomposition analysis shows that during the peak of the first wave of the pandemic (April 2020) other socioeconomic factors declined in their share of socioeconomic inequality, while age and gender account for a larger share. The most notable increase is evident for younger women. The contribution of working in an industry related to the COVID-19 response played a small role at Wave 9 and the Interim 2019 Wave, but more than tripled its share in April 2020. As the first wave of COVID-19 progressed, the contribution of demographics declined from their peak level in April and chronic health conditions, housing conditions, and neighbourhood characteristics increased their contributions to socioeconomic inequality.

Keywords: mental health; GHQ; socioeconomic inequality; health equity; COVID-19; psychological distress (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C1 D63 I12 I14 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 34 pages
Date: 2021-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dem, nep-eur and nep-hea
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (8) Track citations by RSS feed

Published - a revised version is published in: Health Economics

Downloads: (external link)
https://ftp.iza.org/dp14057.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
Journal Article: The first wave of the COVID‐19 pandemic and its impact on socioeconomic inequality in psychological distress in the UK (2021) Downloads
Working Paper: The first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on socioeconomic inequality in psychological distress in the UK (2021) Downloads
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: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:iza:izadps:dp14057

Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA) IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Holger Hinte ().

 
Page updated 2021-10-23
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp14057