COVID-19 and the labor market in the absence of lockdowns:evidence from Nicaragua

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Higa, Minoru;
Huang, Zhen;
Sep 2022
What is the effect of Covid-19 on labor markets when there is no lockdown? We answer this question using individual-level survey data for Nicaragua from January 2019 to May 2021. We find a negative impact of Covid-19 on the labor force participation right after the pandemic, particularly for young females, but also a quick recovery. We find that female labor force participation is strongly related to school attendance. Using high-frequency smartphone data we find that visits to school areas dropped sharply by 50%, but they recovered soon as with the female labor force participation