Haroldo Jacobovicz, a Brazilian entrepreneur and investor, reports on a study by the Social Policies Center of the Getulio Vargas Foundation, also known as FGV Social. The FGV Social study showed that due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, there was a decrease in per capita income. This resulted in worsening outcomes, including an increase in inequality and a decrease in average pay and well-being. Average per capita income fell 11.3% between the first quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021. Social well-being, a combination of prosperity and equality, fell by 19.4% in the same time period and more
The study, Haroldo Jacobovicz reports, showed that there was a disparity in how the pandemic affected the poorest and wealthiest citizens. The average life satisfaction score among the poorest citizens fell from 6.3 before the pandemic to 5.5 during the pandemic. Among the wealthiest citizens, the score rose slightly from 6.8 before the pandemic to 6.9 during. This means that the gap in life satisfaction between society’s wealthiest and poorest citizens increased from 7.9% to a staggering 25.5%. In addition, Haroldo Jacobovicz points to the survey’s use of the Gini Index, which indicates the concentration of wealth in a particular group. The Gini Index ranges from 0 to 1, with 0 being the index for total equality. In Brazil, the Gini Index increased from 0.642 at the beginning of 2020 to 0.674 at the beginning of 2021.
Haroldo Jacobovicz points out that while the levels of overall happiness remained stable in other countries even during the COVID-19 pandemic, overall happiness decreased sharply among Brazilians. He highlights the need to rethink the current policies aimed at dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to improve Brazilians’ overall well-being in relation to other countries.