In response to COVID-19's rise, India ordered most of the country's 1.3 billion residents to stop working and remain indoors starting in March 2020—the world's largest lockdown. The government began relaxing restrictions in June, and research finds that while India's economy improved rapidly in the following months, the outlook for a return to prelockdown levels remained unclear.
In a report for Chicago Booth's Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation, Booth's Marianne Bertrand and Rebecca Dizon-Ross, Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy's Kaushik Krishnan, and University of Pennsylvania's Heather Schofield examined household-level survey data to establish a more comprehensive view of India's initial recovery than national economic indicators could provide. These charts and maps highlight a selection of their main findings.
The lockdown affected income differently across states
Employment remained down as the economy opened back up
Income levels remained depressed as the lockdown was initially lifted
Top earners’ income didn’t drop as sharply during the lockdown months
Spending on basic food items remained down after the reopening
Marianne Bertrand, Rebecca Dizon-Ross, Kaushik Krishnan, and Heather Schofield, "Employment, Income, and Consumption in India during and after the Lockdown: A V-shape Recovery?" Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation report, November 2020.
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