This paper brings together evidence from various data sources and the most recent studies to describe what we know so far about the impacts of the COVID‐19 crisis on inequalities across several key domains of life, including employment and ability to earn, family life and health. We show how these new fissures interact with existing inequalities along various key dimensions, including socio‐economic status, education, age, gender, ethnicity and geography. We find that the deep underlying inequalities and policy challenges that we already had are crucial in understanding the complex impacts of the pandemic itself and our response to it, and that the crisis does in itself have the potential to exacerbate some of these pre‐existing inequalities fairly directly. Moreover, it seems likely that the current crisis will leave legacies that will impact inequalities in the long term. These possibilities are not all disequalising, but many are.
Summary Background School closures have occurred globally during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, empiric data on transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) among children and in educational settings are scarce. In Australia, most schools have remained open during the first epidemic wave, albeit with reduced student physical attendance at the epidemic peak. We examined SARS-CoV-2 transmission among children and staff in schools and early childhood education and care (ECEC) settings in the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW). Methods Laboratory-confirmed paediatric (aged ≤18 years) and adult COVID-19 cases who attended a school or ECEC setting while considered infectious (defined as 24 h before symptom onset based on national guidelines during the study period) in NSW from Jan 25 to April 10, 2020, were investigated for onward transmission. All identified school and ECEC settings close contacts were required to home quarantine for 14 days, and were monitored and offered SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid testing if symptomatic. Enhanced investigations in selected educational settings included nucleic acid testing and SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing in symptomatic and asymptomatic contacts. Secondary attack rates were calculated and compared with state-wide COVID-19 rates. Findings 15 schools and ten ECEC settings had children (n=12) or adults (n=15) attend while infectious, with 1448 contacts monitored. Of these, 633 (43·7%) of 1448 had nucleic acid testing, or antibody testing, or both, with 18 secondary cases identified (attack rate 1·2%). Five secondary cases (three children; two adults) were identified (attack rate 0·5%; 5/914) in three schools. No secondary transmission occurred in nine of ten ECEC settings among 497 contacts. However, one outbreak in an ECEC setting involved transmission to six adults and seven children (attack rate 35·1%; 13/37). Across all settings, five (28·0%) of 18 secondary infections were asymptomatic (three infants [all aged 1 year], one adolescent [age 15 years], and one adult). Interpretation SARS-CoV-2 transmission rates were low in NSW educational settings during the first COVID-19 epidemic wave, consistent with mild infrequent disease in the 1·8 million child population. With effective case-contact testing and epidemic management strategies and associated small numbers of attendances while infected, children and teachers did not contribute significantly to COVID-19 transmission via attendance in educational settings. These findings could be used to inform modelling and public health policy regarding school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding NSW Government Department of Health.
In this article we assess and compare long-term adult socioeconomic status impacts from having experienced psychological and physical health problems in childhood. To do so, we use unique prospective data from the British National Child Development Study, a continuing panel study of a cohort of 17,634 children born in Great Britain during a single week in March 1958. To date there have been nine waves for this birth cohort to monitor their physical, educational, and social development, during childhood (at birth and 7, 11, and 16 y) and adulthood (age 23, 33, 42, 46, and 50 y). Excellent contemporaneous information exists throughout childhood on physical and psychological health, captured by doctor and nurse-led medical examinations and detailed parental and teacher questionnaires. This information is combined with a wealth of contemporaneous information on adult health and economic experiences collected from cohort members. Information includes their economic circumstances (earnings, labor supply, and other sources of family income), physical and psychological health, and relationship status. Large effects are found due to childhood psychological problems on the ability of affected children to work and earn as adults and on intergenerational and withingeneration social mobility. Adult family incomes are reduced by 28% by age 50 y, with sustained impacts on labor supply, marriage stability, and the conscientiousness and agreeableness components of the "Big Five" personality traits. Effects of psychological health disorders during childhood are far more important over a lifetime than physical health problems.U sing prospectively collected data beginning during the week of birth, repeated at three additional ages in childhood and adolescence, and extended into adulthood to age 50 y, this study investigates long-term adult impacts of having experienced psychological and physical health problems during childhood. Stimulated by the work of Barker (1), recent research has established evidence of a strong link between various aspects of poor physical health during childhood (and even in utero) and adult health (2-7) and economic outcomes later during adulthood (8, 9). Much less studied have been long-term health and socioeconomic (SES) consequences of psychological conditions experienced during childhood (10, 11). This is even more surprising given the substantial rise in psychological disorders affecting young people in the United Kingdom in the past 25 y (12, 13).Recently, Smith and Smith (14) used retrospective questions in the American Panel Study of Income Dynamics to find that impacts of childhood psychological problems on adult SES are large-a lifetime cost in lost family income of approximately $300,000 and total lifetime economic cost for all those affected of $2.1 trillion. An advantage of that study is that it compared siblings, so it was able to control for unobserved family and neighborhood effects, which were found not to be critical for this question. A disadvantage of that research is that it relied on...
Abstract:A growing literature on inference in difference-in-differences (DiD) designs has been pessimistic about obtaining hypothesis tests of the correct size, particularly with few groups. We provide Monte Carlo evidence for four points: (i) it is possible to obtain tests of the correct size even with few groups, and in many settings very straightforward methods will achieve this; (ii) the main problem in DiD designs with grouped errors is instead low power to detect real effects; (iii) feasible GLS estimation combined with robust inference can increase power considerably whilst maintaining correct test size -again, even with few groups, and (iv) using OLS with robust inference can lead to a perverse relationship between power and panel length.
We study earnings and income inequality in Britain over the past two decades, including the period of relatively "inclusive" growth from 1997-2004 and the Great Recession. We focus on the middle 90%, where trends have contrasted strongly with the "new inequality" at the very top. Household earnings inequality has risen, driven by male earnings -although a 'catch-up' of female earnings did hold down individual earnings inequality and reduce within-household inequality. Nevertheless, net household income inequality fell due to deliberate increases in redistribution, the tax and transfer system's insurance role during the Great Recession, falling household worklessness, and rising pensioner incomes.
We study earnings and income inequality in Britain over the past two decades, including the period of relatively 'inclusive' growth from 1997 to 2004, and the Great Recession. We focus on the middle 90%, where trends have contrasted strongly with the 'new inequality' at the very top. Household earnings inequality has risen, driven by male earnings-although a 'catch-up' of female earnings did hold down individual earnings inequality and reduce within-household inequality. Nevertheless, net household income inequality fell due to deliberate increases in redistribution, the tax and transfer system's insurance role during the Great Recession, falling household worklessness, and rising pensioner incomes.
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