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

Paul Brandily, Clement Brebion, Simon Briole, Laura Khoury

Publikation: Working paperForskning


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.
UdgiverParis School of Economics
Antal sider66
StatusUdgivet - mar. 2021
Udgivet eksterntJa
NavnWorking Paper / Paris School of Economics
Nummer2020 - 44


  • COVID-19
  • Poverty
  • Inequality
  • Mortality
  • Labor market
  • Housing conditions