Bulletin of Monetary Economics and Banking

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This paper examines the effects of COVID-19 mitigation strategies and Economic Policy Uncertainty (EPU) on unemployment-rate over the period November 2019 to April 2021 for the 16 most severely COVID-19 affected countries. Our specific objectives are threefold: first, to examine the dynamic relationship between EPU and unemployment-rate; second, to analyze the extent to which government’s COVID-19 mitigation response affects the unemployment-rate; and third, to examine the effects of governments economic policies on the unemployment-rate through market indicators, such as the business and consumer confidence indices. We find that EPU increases fluctuations in unemployment for the COVID-19 affected countries, while governments’ vaccination drive significantly reduces it. Increases in government stringency aggravate unemployment in the informal sectors and enhances labor inequality.

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