The collateral damage on income distribution from a pandemic
Facts about income inequality have been accumulating for some time now. In addition, in recent decades, abundant data analyses, whether in terms of absolute or relative earnings, have been disseminated. The consensus in research on income disparities among various segments of the population distribution is that the general trends have been on a continuous rise within nations and throughout the globe. The disparity gaps do not limit themselves only to earnings and purchasing power but are revealed in a host of other manifestations in opportunities: jobs, education, access to well-being, etc.
Soon it will be two years during which the world has been subjected to a virulent virus that has disrupted drastically the functioning of economic activities, causing the shrinking of whole economies, disruptions in food distribution, and the loss of jobs due to lockdowns and closures. Emerging is a very different economic and social dynamics.
The urgency to fight the pandemic has shifted economic priorities and policies. The emphasis given to ‘essential’ in contrast to ‘non-essential’ jobs, products, industries, etc. has given rise to a new reality and novel imbalances in the workplace, which are impacting inequity differently and creating new gaps and biases.
Whether such structural shifts and their consequences on income distribution are transitory or will have long-term implications is wide open for study and analysis.
The Journal of Income Distribution encourages the submission of individual articles or suggestions from willing guest editors for a JID volume to cover any economic aspects of the pending post-pandemic world.