Winners and Losers of the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Excess Profits Tax Proposal

Author(s) :
Céline Azémar, Rodolphe Desbordes, Paolo Melindi-Ghidi, Jean-Philippe Nicolaï

This paper studies the gains and losses incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic. The authors distinguish between the effects of the pandemic and those of the health measures implemented to reduce the death toll, notably ‘the lockdown’. The theoretical model is focused on within-sector firm heterogeneity and involves imperfect competition in a partial equilibrium setting. A comparison between the gains and losses triggered by both the pandemic and the lockdown indicates that an excess profits tax imposed on the ‘winners’ could partly compensate the ‘losers’ of the same sector.