Chiara Burlina, Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, 19 December 2021

Western countries are facing an ‘epidemic of solitude’. Though its impact on mental health has attracted considerable attention, little is known about its economic effects. This column distinguishes between two forms of solitude – loneliness and living alone – and studies their influence on the economic performance of European regions at the local level. Greater shares of people living alone drive economic growth, whereas an increase in loneliness has damaging economic consequences. Though the relationship is complex and non-linear, a region with more lonely people will experience lower aggregate economic growth.

Events

CEPR Policy Research