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Accepted Paper:

has pdf download Inequality in Santiago: Covid-19 and multidimensional poverty  


Amanda Telias (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)
Nincen Figueroa (Universidad Diego Portales)

Paper short abstract:

People living in poverty have been more exposed to the contagion of Covid-19. This study shows which dimensions and indicators of multidimensional poverty are highly correlated with a higher rate of infections and deaths from Covid-19 at the communal level in Santiago, Chile.

Paper long abstract:

What characterizes the communes of Santiago in which the Covid-19 has spread more intensely? Poverty in their territory appears as one relevant factor. We carried out a statistical analysis to understand if the multidimensional poverty of the communes correlated with the rates of infection and death by Covid-19. Natural disasters and pandemics, such as COVID-19, can expose people confronting shortcomings in these dimensions, and in many of them simultaneously, to a greater risk. We considered 5 dimensions -education, health, housing, work and social security, environment, and networks- and 5 indicators among them that are theoretically linked to greater vulnerability to the virus: schooling, malnutrition, social security, overcrowding and housing condition. The results show that the overcrowding variable appears as the one that most correlates with the contagion rate, since the spread of the virus is facilitated when bedrooms are shared and when it is difficult to isolate a member of the household who becomes ill. Both the lack of the education indicator and the social security can be related to a greater exposure to the virus. Homes where its members have informal jobs or lower levels of schooling must often expose themselves to the virus by going out to work, despite the fact that health regulations prohibit it, because they do not have labour protection, or they cannot telework. Lastly, children with malnutrition face greater risks from the disease, either due to malnutrition -weaker immune systems- or obesity -risk factor-.

Panel P19b
COVID-19 and global development challenges: 'unsettling' multidimensional poverty? II