Congratulations to Professor Louis-Philippe Beland! His paper titled, “The Short-term Economic Consequences of COVID-19: Occupation Tasks and Mental Health in Canada” (with Abel Brodeur, Derek Mikola and Taylor Wright) has been accepted for publication in the Canadian Journal of Economics – a major internationally recognized general interest journal. Derek (Carleton) and Taylor (uOttawa) are OCGSE PhD students. The paper benefitted from the CU-COVID-19 grant.
In this paper, we study the effect of COVID-19 on the labour market and reported mental health of Canadians. To better understand the effect of the pandemic on the labour market, we build indexes for whether (1) workers are relatively more exposed to disease, (2) work in proximity to coworkers, (3) are essential workers, and (4) can easily work remotely. Our estimates suggest that the impact of COVID19 was significantly more severe for workers that work in proximity to coworkers and those more exposed to disease who are not in the health sector, while the effects are less severe for essential workers and workers that can work remotely. Last, using the Canadian Perspective Survey, we observe that reported mental health is significantly lower among some of the most affected workers such as women and less-educated workers. We also document that those who were absent from work because of COVID-19 are more concerned with meeting their financial obligations and with losing their job than those who continue working outside their home.