COVID-19: The socio-economic impact of the pandemic and related (de)confinement measures in Luxembourg on individuals and households

02 April 2021

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The Socio-Economic Impact (SEI) project focuses on data collection to support research on the short- and medium-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and related (de)confinement measures in Luxembourg on individuals and their households in terms of work and living conditions, daily activities and mobility, and (not directly COVID-19 related) health and health behaviours.

Such a data collection will allow designing appropriate policy measures to avoid or mitigate detrimental wider impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak, to combat social inequalities and to tailor policy responses.

An interdisciplinary project team composed of economists, geographers, sociologists and psychologists from the University of Luxembourg and all research departments of LISER, is responsible for the data collection. The project is aligned with the WHO’s ‘Coordinated Global Research Roadmap: 2019 Novel Coronavirus’, which emphasizes the importance of social sciences in this crisis, to be able to understand and act upon the economic, social, behavioral and contextual dimensions of the pandemic’s impact.

A large-scale survey has been developed which forms the basis for monitoring the impact of the outbreak and associated policy measures on (a) work and living conditions, (b) daily activities and mobility, (c) time use and household interactions and (d) health and health behaviors.

Two major socio economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic can be identified: one related to work and the other one related to daily life. First, due to all kind of economic measures the impact of the pandemic on unemployment and financial situation of households was limited. Nevertheless, employees did experience some fear of loss of jobs and of incomes, which might become stronger in future when combatting the pandemic takes more time than the financial situation of the country allows. Working from home became the default work situation for high-educated employees with professions that afford working at home using digital tools. As such, they could protect themselves against the risk of exposure to a COVID-19 infection. However, this was less the case for lower educated employees, which were not able to work remotely.

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