The Effect of COVID-19 on Firms and Employment in Central America
This paper assesses the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on firms and employment in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Our analysis shows that since the COVID-19 outbreak, 1 in 4 formal businesses in these countries have closed, with monthly sales dropping by a third on average across countries. To counter the impact of the crisis, firms opted to decrease total hours worked, reduce wages or furlough workers. Despite increases in public spending and policies to mitigate the economic and social impacts of the pandemic, few formal firms receiver government assistance.
(This paper is available in English only).