The COVID-19 pandemic has threatened public health and socio-economic activities across societal groups and geographies. We analyse the complex interplay between epidemic and economic factors using a structural panel vector autoregressive (PVAR) approach for Danish municipalities. Findings indicate that the pandemic shock and associated public health interventions led to significant increases in unemployment rates. Wage compensations reduce regional unemployment through both a direct local effect and indirect spatial spillovers. Decomposing the unemployment rate by skill, we find that the response to an increase in wage compensations is only significant for low-skilled persons and that it is larger in urban compared with rural settings.
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