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The Labour Market Impact of COVID-19 Lockdowns: Evidence from Ghana

Simone Schotte (), Michael Danquah (), Robert Osei () and Kunal Sen ()
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Simone Schotte: UNU-WIDER

No 14692, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: In this paper, we provide causal evidence of the immediate and near-term impact of stringent COVID-19 lockdown policies on employment outcomes, using Ghana as a case study. We take advantage of a specific policy setting, in which strict stay-at-home orders were issued and enforced in two spatially delimited areas, bringing Ghana's major metropolitan centres to a standstill, while in the rest of the country less stringent regulations were in place. Using a difference-in-differences design, we find that the three-week lockdown had a large and significant immediate negative impact on employment in the treated districts, particularly among workers in informal self-employment. While the gap in employment between the treated and control districts had narrowed four months after the lockdown was lifted, we detect a persistent nationwide decline in both earnings and employment, jeopardizing particularly the livelihoods of small business owners mainly operating in the informal economy.

Keywords: COVID-19; lockdown; employment; informal economy; Ghana (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I18 J46 J63 O55 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 33 pages
Date: 2021-08
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-afr, nep-edu, nep-isf and nep-lma
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