Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
Research Institute of Industrial Economics

No 1443: Earnings Losses and the Role of the Welfare State During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Evidence from Sweden

Adrian Adermon (), Lisa Laun (), Patrik Lind (), Martin Olsson (), Jan Sauermann and Anna Sjögren ()
Additional contact information
Adrian Adermon: Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy (IFAU), Postal: and Uppsala Center for Labor Studies (UCLS) and Uppsala Center for Fiscal Studies (UCFS), Uppsala University
Lisa Laun: Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy (IFAU), Postal: and Uppsala Center for Labor Studies (UCLS)
Patrik Lind: Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy (IFAU)
Martin Olsson: Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN), Postal: and Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy (IFAU)
Jan Sauermann: Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy (IFAU), Postal: Uppsala Center for Labor Studies (UCLS), and Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)
Anna Sjögren: Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy (IFAU), Postal: and Uppsala Center for Labor Studies (UCLS)

Abstract: Many governments introduced temporary adjustments to counter the economic and health consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. We study the importance of already existing government transfers and pandemic measures to mitigate individual income losses during the pandemic in Sweden using a difference-in-differences approach and population-wide data on monthly earnings and government transfer payments. We find that labor earnings dropped by 2.7 percent in 2020. Existing transfers and pandemic measures reduced earnings losses to 1.5 percent. These average effects mask considerable differences in income losses, which were, by and large, evened out by existing transfers and pandemic measures.

Keywords: COVID-19; Income inequality; Government transfers; Short-time work

JEL-codes: C23; D31; E24; H12; H20

Language: English

40 pages, October 27, 2022

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