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A Poorly Understood Disease? The Impact of COVID-19 on the Income Gradient in Mortality over the Course of the Pandemic

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Abstract

Mortality inequalities remain substantial in many countries, and large shocks such as pandemics could amplify them further. The unequal distribution of COVID-19 confirmed cases suggests that this is the case. Yet, evidence on the causal effect of the epidemic on mortality inequalities remains scarce. In this paper, we exploit exhaustive municipality-level data in France, one of the most severely hit country in the world, to identify a negative relationship between income and excess mortality within urban areas, that persists over COVID-19 waves. Over the year 2020, the poorest municipalities experienced a 30% higher increase in excess mortality. Our analyses can rule out the contribution of policy responses (such as lockdown) in this heterogeneous impact. Finally, we show that both labour-market exposure and housing conditions are major determinants of the direct effect of the epidemic on mortality inequalities, but that their respective role depends on the state of the epidemic.
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Dates and versions

halshs-02895908 , version 1 (10-07-2020)
halshs-02895908 , version 2 (15-03-2021)

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  • HAL Id : halshs-02895908 , version 2

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Paul Brandily, Clément Brébion, Simon Briole, Laura Khoury. A Poorly Understood Disease? The Impact of COVID-19 on the Income Gradient in Mortality over the Course of the Pandemic. 2021. ⟨halshs-02895908v2⟩
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