Socio-economic Effects of COVID-19 in Bulgaria: A Spatial Analysis

Annual Review of Territorial Governance in the Western Balkans, II, 2020, 96-117 Journal

Hristo Dokov, Kalina Milkova, Ivaylo Stamenkov


This paper studies the socio-economic effects of COVID-19 in Bulgaria to uncover their multidimensional forms and provide a broad picture and empirical evidence of the inflicted changes. Based on available information and data as of the end of August 2020, the paper aims to uncover the key factors that drive the socio-economic processes and to determine the intensity, scale, and persistence of the immediate, multidimensional impacts of the outbreak and their territorial implications. The study is organized in three main parts. The first provides a short overview of the most relevant processes at a European level. The second uncovers, visualizes, and explains certain relations between the time dynamics in the COVID-19 spread at a national level, the pandemic containment measures, and different socio-economic indicators and trends. The third scrutinizes the specific processes at the regional and local levels, going deeper into the study of the different territorial factors, mechanisms, and scenarios. The mixture of quantitative and qualitative analyses in the study reveals that the COVID-19 crises severely devastated the Bulgarian economy in between March and May 2020, with some positive trends of recovery registered in June and July. The spatial discourse of the study detects diverse spatial impacts, with their size, strength, and expected duration varying according to specific territorial characteristics. Yet, we also detect significant entropy in the system with subjective and random factors often being of real importance. Finally, permanent, in-depth studies of the ongoing COVID-related processes are crucially needed to be able to foresee some of the highest risks and to conceptualize adequate responses.

Read full article here: Socio-economic Effects of COVID-19 in Bulgaria- A Spatial Analysis

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