July 23, 2021
The Covid-19 pandemic is hitting societies hard, and people living in disadvantaged circumstances are among the most affected. We investigate the combined effects of the Covid-19 crisis and living in a deprived neighbourhood on two dimensions of subjective well-being: hedonic (i.e. mental health) and evaluative (i.e. life satisfaction) subjective well-being.
We use longitudinal data from the Understanding Society UK panel. We combine data gathered in the main survey between 2015 and 2019 with very recent data from the Covid-19 online survey between April and July 2020. Leveraging a sample of nearly 9,600 English individuals, we first run a set of cross-sectional OLS regressions to analyse changes over time in the relationship between neighbourhood deprivation and subjective well-being. Then, as our main model of interest, we use a fixed effect difference-in-differences model to provide more robust evidence.
Since the beginning of the crisis, both levels of hedonic and evaluative well-being have decreased as a result of the pandemic and lockdown. However, for those living in more deprived neighbourhoods the level of hedonic well-being decreased more than for those living in better areas. We found no such difference for evaluative well-being.
Our results highlight the importance of reducing neighbourhood inequalities as the spatial clustering of disadvantages has increased by the pandemic.
© 2021 Bonomi Bezzo et al
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