Lockdown accounting

Charles Gottlieb, Jan Grobovsek, Markus Poschke, Fernando Saltiel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

We use an accounting framework to evaluate the aggregate impact of a common lockdown policy for 85 countries. We find that poorer countries devote more labor to essential activities that are unaffected by the lockdown, while richer countries can more easily substitute non-essential employment with work from home. The lockdown generates an employment response that is U-shaped in income: it drops by 32% in the poorest quintile of the distribution, by 36% in the middle quintile, and by 31% in the richest quintile. Annualized GDP declines by 39% in the bottom three quintiles and by 31% in the richest quintile. Agriculture, an essential sector, is key in sustaining employment and economic activity in poorer countries.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalB.E. Journal of Macroeconomics
Early online date2 Mar 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Mar 2021

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Covid-19
  • structural change
  • work from home
  • lockdown


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