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The Fall in Income Inequality during COVID-19 in Five European Countries

Working Paper 2020-565

Abstract

We here use panel data from the COME-HERE survey to track income inequality during COVID-19 in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Sweden. Relative inequality in equivalent household disposable income among individuals changed in a hump-shaped way over 2020. An initial rise from January to May was more than reversed by September. Absolute inequality also fell over this period. As such, policy responses may have been of more benefit for the poorer than the richer.

Authors: Andrew E. Clark, Conchita D’Ambrosio, Anthony Lepinteur.

Keywords: COME-HERE, COVID-19, Income Inequality
JEL: D63, I32, I38.