The Distributional Short-Term Impact of the COVID-19 Crisis on Wages in the United States
MPRA Paper from University Library of Munich, Germany
This paper uses Bureau of Labor Statistics employment and wage data to study the distributional impact of the COVID-19 crisis on wages in the United States by mid-April. It answers whether wages of lower-wage workers decreased more than others', and to what extent. We find that the COVID-19 outbreak exacerbates existing inequalities. Workers at the bottom quintile in mid-March were three times more likely to be laid off by mid-April compared to higher-wage workers. Weekly wages of workers at the bottom quintile decreased by 6% on average between mid-February and mid-March and by 26% between mid-March and mid-April. The average decrease for higher quintiles was less than 1% between mid-February and mid-March and about 10% between mid-March and mid-April. We also find that workers aged 16-24 were hit much harder than older workers. Hispanic workers were also hurt more than other racial groups. Their wages decreased by 2-3 percentage points more than other workers' between mid-March and mid-April.
Keywords: Income inequality; COVID-19; Growth incidence curves (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D63 J3 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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Working Paper: The Distributional Short-Term Impact of the COVID-19 Crisis on Wages in the United States (2020)
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:pra:mprapa:100466
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