Policy Briefs

Kateryna Bornukova|Gleb Shymanovich| 15.03.2021

FREE Policy Brief: Laissez-faire Covid-19: Economic Consequences in Belarus

Despite its traditional paternalistic role, the Belarusian government chose minimal reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic. No meaningful economic or social measures were taken in response to the pandemic. The authors explore a unique dataset to document how major Covid-related shocks affected the earnings of Belarusians in 2020. We utilize the differential timing and sectoral effects of the shocks to identify the impact of Covid-19 on individual socioeconomic outcomes. Not surprisingly, we find that Covid-related shocks increase the probability of an income reduction. This effect is most pronounced for those employed in the private sector. In the absence of a social security net, vulnerable groups had to cope with the economic consequences of the pandemic on their own.