Anup Malani, Bartek Woda Write About Declining Income Inequality in India During COVID-19 Pandemic

Poverty rose but income inequality fell

COVID-19 has upended Indian society. Over two-thirds of the country has been infected by COVID-19 and perhaps five million or so people have died, directly or indirectly, from the pandemic. The economy too has taken a beating. Even though there has been a V-shaped recovery, output remains about 10% lower than 2019.

In macroeconomic crises, including the oil shock of 1990-91 or the global liquidity crisis of 2007-08, many expect the poor to bear the brunt of the pain. They are the most vulnerable, without contractual protections and adequate safety nets. But there are signs that this pandemic has not followed that script.

Poverty certainly rose during the COVID-19 pandemic. We examined monthly data from nearly 2,00,000 households with a total of one million members from the Consumer Pyramids Household Survey through 2021.

Read more at The Hindu (paywall)