COVID-19 Financial Aid and Productivity: Has Support Been Well Spent?
Most European Union countries have made good progress with vaccinating their populations against COVID-19 and are now seeing a rebound in economic activity. While the scarring effects of the crisis and the long-term implications of the pandemic are only partially understood, the effects of support given to firms can be evaluated in order to help plan the removal of crisis support. An analysis of France, Germany and Italy shows the potential for ‘cleansing effects’ in that it was the least-productive firms that have been affected most by the crisis. While support was generally not targeted at protecting good firms only, financial support went by and large to those with the capacity to survive and succeed. Labour schemes have been effective in protecting employment.