The Market-Reach of Pandemics: Evidence From Female Workers In Ethiopia's Ready-Made Garment Industry




This research titled, 'The Market-Reach of Pandemics: Evidence from Female Workers in Ethiopia's Ready-Made Garment Industry', has been co-authored by: Eyoual Demeke (World Bank), Morgan Hardy (New York University Abu Dhabi), Gisella Kagy (Vassar College), Christian Johannes Meyer (University of Oxford) and Marc Witte (New York University Abu Dhabi).

In a globalized world, pandemics transmit impacts through markets. We document employment changes, coping strategies, and welfare of garment factory workers in Ethiopia’s largest industrial park during the early stages of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 pandemic. We field a phone survey of female workers during a two month period in which cases are rapidly rising globally, but not locally. Our data suggest significant changes in employment, high levels of migration away from urban areas to rural areas if women are no longer working, and high levels of food insecurity. These findings compel a research and policy focus on documenting and mitigating the market-reach of pandemics on low-income workers at the margins.