June 2020

IZA DP No. 13411: A Literature Review of the Economics of COVID-19

Abel Brodeur, David M. Gray, Anik Islam, Suraiya Jabeen Bhuiyan

The goal of this piece is to survey the emerging and rapidly growing literature on the economic consequences of COVID-19 and government response, and to synthetize the insights emerging from a very large number of studies. This survey (i) provides an overview of the data sets used to measure social distancing and COVID-19 cases and deaths; (ii) reviews the literature on the determinants of compliance and effectiveness of social distancing; (iii) summarizes the literature on the socio-economic consequences of COVID-19 and government interventions, focusing on labor, health, gender, discrimination and environmental aspects; and (iv) discusses policy proposals.