Causes and consequences of higher COVID-19 cases in India   

Sabyasachi Tripathi1

1Assistant Professor, Adamas University, Kolkata, India & Postdoctoral Research Fellow, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia

 Article History

Received: 05 January 2021            Revised: 26 March 2021        Accepted: 28 March 2021      Available Online: 29 March 2021

Keywords: Urbanization, festival celebration, returned migration, poverty, GDP, India

JEL classification: R10, F22, I30, O40

Citation: Tripathi, S. (2021). Causes and consequences of higher COVID-19 cases in India , Review of Socio-Economic Perspectives, Vol 6(1), 79-90.


As of February 5, 2021, India ranks second in terms of total Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) with more than 10 million positive cases in the world. This has a huge negative impact on the poorer almost 30% of its population severely. In this backdrop, the present study tries to understand why the spread of COVID-19 cases is higher compared to other countries and its consequences on the economy. The study suggests that state-level higher total urban population has a positive impact on the total confirmed (or total active or total deaths) COVID-19 cases. However, the relationship between the state-level percentage of urban population and urban population densities with total COVID-19 cases are not robust. The relationship between state-level urban population and the total number of returned migrants is positive but the relationship between the state-level percentage of urban population and the total number of returned migrants to that state is negative. This indicates that states with the percentage of the higher urban population received a lower number of reverse migrations from urban to rural. Festivals such as Onam and the Vande Bharat Mission are also responsible for spreading COVID-19 cases in India. Furthermore, the lack of remote work opportunities is also supportive for the same. The consequences of higher COVID-19 cases are enormous that includes the significant number of job losses, an increase of higher poverty, and reduction of a higher amount of GDP. Therefore, for a quick recovery of the Indian economy, we need to promote higher state-level urbanization with higher opportunities for formal jobs and remote work opportunities.

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Article Type: Original Paper


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