The heterogeneous and regressive consequences of COVID-19: evidence from high quality panel data

Publication type

Understanding Society Working Paper Series

Series Number



Understanding Society Working Paper Series


Publication date

October 13, 2020


Using new data from the Understanding Society COVID-19 Study collected in two waves in April and in May 2020 in the UK, we make three contributions. First, Understanding Society is based on probability samples and the Covid-19 Study is carefully constructed to support valid population inferences. Second, the panel allows a long-run measure of income to characterise regressivity. Third, we have novel data on the mitigation strategies that households use. Our key findings are that those with precarious employment, under 30 and from minority ethnic groups face the biggest labour market shocks. Almost 50% of individuals have experienced declines in household earnings of at least 10%, but declines are most severe in the bottom income quintiles. Methods of mitigation vary substantially across groups: borrowing and transfers from family and friends are most prevalent among those most in need. 



PLEASE CITE AS: Crossley, T.F., Fisher, P., and Low, H. (2021) ‘The heterogeneous and regressive consequences of COVID-19: evidence from high quality panel data’, Journal of Public Economics, 193:104334.

Related Publications

Paper download  



Latest findings, new research

Publications search

Search all research by subject and author


Researchers discuss their findings and what they mean for society


Background and context, methods and data, aims and outputs


Conferences, seminars and workshops

Survey methodology

Specialist research, practice and study

Taking the long view

ISER's annual report


Key research themes and areas of interest