Inequality and poverty in India: impact of COVID-19 pandemic and policy response

Using microdata from nationally representative household and labor force surveys, study the impact and drivers of poverty and inequality in India during the pandemic. Three main findings are included in this study. First, India has made significant progress in reducing poverty in recent decades, but the economic downturn associated with the COVID-19 pandemic is estimated to have temporarily increased poverty and inequality. Second, education and employment status seem to be the main factors associated with poverty and income/consumption changes. Finally, the government’s expansion of food subsidies has likely played a significant role in mitigating the increase in poverty during the pandemic.

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