First empirical evidence and lessons from COVID-19

The Role of Social Protection in Cushioning the Effects of Pandemics

29 Jan 2021

Follow the workshop on Twitter: #PEGNet2021@PEGNetKiel

The COVID-19 pandemic puts enormous pressure on economies and societies world-wide. This is particularly true for low and middle income countries, where many people are engaged in low-wage informal employment. The livelihoods, incomes and well-being of those are potentially at risk because they lose their jobs or incomes due to the pandemic or lockdown policies. Social protection schemes could limit the effects and hence prevent poverty to increase but few countries have effective schemes in place covering larger shares of the population.

The question is, thus, what kind of social protection policies have been most effective in cushioning the effects of the pandemic and which ones could improve the resilience of people in low and middle income countries in the future. As the evidence base on this topic is still limited, the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) and the Poverty Reduction, Equity and Growth Network (PEGNet) will jointly hold an online workshop that is meant to present existing empirical evidence on this topic and discuss current problems of social protection responses.   


This virtual workshop will be moderated by Christoph Strupat and Markus Loewe (both German Development Institute/Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)) and the following four papers will form the basis for the discussion (presenters in bold):

  • Did Pensions Protect the Elderly from the Impacts of COVID-19?

          Abhijit Banerjee, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and NBER

          Esther Duflo, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and NBER

          Madeline McKelway, Stanford University

          Garima Sharma, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

          Sudha Narayanan, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research

          Christian Oldiges, University of Oxford

          Shree Saha, Cornell University


          Wyatt Brooks, Arizona State University

          Kevin Donovan, Yale University

          Terence R. Johnson, University of Notre Dame

          Jackline Oluoch-Aridi, Strathmore University and University of Notre Dame


          Kibrom A. Abay, IFPRI

          Guush Berhane, IFPRI

          John Hoddinott, Cornell University

          Kibrom Tafere, World Bank



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We are looking foward to a lively discussion!