Informal Workers in the Time of Coronavirus

Yves here. This post gives a sense of how many people globally are vulnerable to the coronavirus shock.

By C.P. Chandrasekhar, Professor of Economics, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India and Jayati Ghosh, Professor of Economics and Chairperson at the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India. Republished from Network IDEAs; originally published in the Business Line on March 24 2020

The global devastation caused by Covid-19 is only just beginning, with the severe threat to public health worsened by the evident inability to cope of most health systems across developing and developed countries. Many states across the world appear to have realised the serious potential of this pandemic and have declared lockdowns, closures, partial curfews and curtailment of all but essential activities in efforts to contain the contagion.

The economic impacts of such lockdown are also just beginning to be felt, and will escalate in the coming months. The discussion on the economics of this pandemic has tended to focus on supply disruptions and the likely financial losses of companies, especially those in travel, transport and other services and manufacturing activities. Precisely because companies have more lobbying power and more political voice in general, they have already started clamouring for (and being offered) incentives, bailouts and other relief measures to allow them to cope with this crisis.

But in fact, the worst material impacts are already being felt by informal workers, who face a dismal spectrum of probabilities of loss of livelihood, from declining earnings

Keep reading this article on Naked Capitalism (Yves Smith) - Blog.

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