nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2020‒08‒31
seven papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas
Universitat Pompeu Fabra

  1. A Literature Review of the Economics of COVID-19 By Brodeur, Abel; Gray, David M.; Islam, Anik; Bhuiyan, Suraiya Jabeen
  2. IZA COVID-19 Crisis Response Monitoring: Short-Run Labor Market Impacts of COVID-19, Initial Policy Measures and Beyond By Eichhorst, Werner; Rinne, Ulf; Marx, Paul; Böheim, René; Leoni, Thomas; Cahuc, Pierre; Colussi, Tommaso; Jongen, Egbert L. W.; Verstraten, Paul; Ferreira, Priscila; Cerejeira, João; Portela, Miguel; Ramos, Raul; Kahanec, Martin; Martiskova, Monika; Hensvik, Lena; Nordström Skans, Oskar; Arni, Patrick; Costa, Rui; Machin, Stephen; Houseman, Susan N.
  3. Short-term forecasting of the COVID-19 pandemic using Google Trends data: Evidence from 158 countries By Fantazzini, Dean
  4. Public Attention and Policy Responses to COVID-19 Pandemic By Aksoy, Cevat Giray; Ganslmeier, Michael; Poutvaara, Panu
  5. Mortality Effects and Choice Across Private Health Insurance Plans By Jason Abaluck; Mauricio M. Caceres Bravo; Peter Hull; Amanda Starc
  6. Impact of Family Planning Policy on Gender Inequality: Evidence from China By Yining Geng
  7. Age Discrimination across the Business Cycle By Gordon B. Dahl; Matthew M. Knepper

  1. By: Brodeur, Abel (University of Ottawa); Gray, David M. (University of Ottawa); Islam, Anik (University of Ottawa); Bhuiyan, Suraiya Jabeen (University of Ottawa)
    Abstract: The goal of this piece is to survey the emerging and rapidly growing literature on the economic consequences of COVID-19 and government response, and to synthetize the insights emerging from a very large number of studies. This survey (i) provides an overview of the data sets used to measure social distancing and COVID-19 cases and deaths; (ii) reviews the literature on the determinants of compliance and effectiveness of social distancing; (iii) summarizes the literature on the socio-economic consequences of COVID-19 and government interventions, focusing on labor, health, gender, discrimination and environmental aspects; and (iv) discusses policy proposals.
    Keywords: COVID-19, coronavirus, employment, lockdowns
    JEL: E00 I15 I18 J20
    Date: 2020–06
  2. By: Eichhorst, Werner (IZA); Rinne, Ulf (IZA); Marx, Paul (University of Duisburg-Essen); Böheim, René (University of Linz); Leoni, Thomas (WIFO - Austrian Institute of Economic Research); Cahuc, Pierre (Sciences Po, Paris); Colussi, Tommaso (Catholic University Milan); Jongen, Egbert L. W. (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis); Verstraten, Paul (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis); Ferreira, Priscila (University of Minho); Cerejeira, João (University of Minho); Portela, Miguel (University of Minho); Ramos, Raul (University of Barcelona); Kahanec, Martin (Central European University); Martiskova, Monika (CELSI); Hensvik, Lena (IFAU); Nordström Skans, Oskar (Uppsala University); Arni, Patrick (University of Bristol); Costa, Rui (London School of Economics); Machin, Stephen (London School of Economics); Houseman, Susan N. (Upjohn Institute for Employment Research)
    Abstract: Country reports for Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States (153 Seiten)
    Date: 2020–08–06
  3. By: Fantazzini, Dean
    Abstract: The ability of Google Trends data to forecast the number of new daily cases and deaths of COVID-19 is examined using a dataset of 158 countries. The analysis includes the computations of lag correlations between confirmed cases and Google data, Granger causality tests, and an out-of-sample forecasting exercise with 18 competing models with a forecast horizon of 14 days ahead. This evidence shows that Google-augmented models outperform the competing models for most of the countries. This is significant because Google data can complement epidemiological models during difficult times like the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, when official statistics maybe not fully reliable and/or published with a delay. Moreover, real-time tracking with online-data is one of the instruments that can be used to keep the situation under control when national lockdowns are lifted and economies gradually reopen.
    Keywords: Covid-19; Google Trends; VAR; ARIMA; ARIMA-X; ETS; LASSO; SIR model
    JEL: C22 C32 C51 C53 G17 I18 I19
    Date: 2020–08
  4. By: Aksoy, Cevat Giray (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development); Ganslmeier, Michael (University of Oxford); Poutvaara, Panu (University of Munich)
    Abstract: Early non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPI) significantly reduced the death toll of the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, there are vast differences in how quickly governments implemented NPIs. In this paper, we analyze the role of public attention, measured as the share of daily Google searches in a country related to COVID-19, in the timing of the NPI responses. We first show that public attention depends strongly on whether there are cases in own country. We then show that countries with high levels of public attention are more likely to implement NPIs, even after controlling for the number of cases and deaths. Finally, we show that the extent to which a government responds to public attention is highly dependent on the country's institutional quality. The positive effect of public attention on policy implementation is driven entirely by countries with good institutions.
    Keywords: COVID-19, non-pharmaceutical interventions, public attention, institutional quality
    JEL: D72 D78 D83 H12 I18
    Date: 2020–06
  5. By: Jason Abaluck; Mauricio M. Caceres Bravo; Peter Hull; Amanda Starc
    Abstract: Competition in health insurance markets may fail to improve health outcomes if consumers are not willing to pay for high quality plans. We document large differences in the mortality rates of Medicare Advantage (MA) plans within local markets. We then show that when high (low) mortality plans exit these markets, enrollees tend to switch to more typical plans and subsequently experience lower (higher) mortality. We develop a framework that uses this variation to estimate the relationship between observed mortality rates and causal mortality effects; we find a tight link. We then extend the framework to study other predictors of mortality effects and estimate consumer willingness to pay. Higher spending plans tend to reduce enrollee mortality, but existing quality ratings are uncorrelated with plan mortality effects. Consumers place little weight on mortality effects when choosing plans. Moving beneficiaries out of the bottom 5% of plans could save tens of thousands of elderly lives each year.
    JEL: C26 I11 J14
    Date: 2020–07
  6. By: Yining Geng
    Abstract: The investments parents make in their children can be gender specific. I study the impact of family planning policies on gender-specific outcomes. Empirically, this paper uses China’s Family Planning Policy (FPP), enacted in 1971, to understand how a reduction in the number of children in a family can generate gender-specific outcomes. I mainly use the diff-in-diff strategy to compare the educational outcomes of boys and of girls born before and after the FPP was implemented. I find that while post-FPP-born children generally complete higher levels of education, this effect is particularly stronger for girls. This finding is robust to (1) using the diff-in-diff-in-diff strategy by incorporating another dimension of variation: different fertility constraints imposed by the FPP on the ethnic majority Han than those imposed on ethnic minorities; and (2) using a different measure of educational outcomes: the probability of pursuing an education beyond the compulsory education period. In addition, I document that the FPP also has an impact on changing women’s preference for their child’s gender. Post-FPP-born women show a more pronounced change in gender attitudes and exhibit less son preference than their male counterparts.
    Keywords: Family Planning Policy; Fertility; Education; Gender Inequality.
    Date: 2020–03
  7. By: Gordon B. Dahl; Matthew M. Knepper
    Abstract: A key prediction of discrimination models is that competition in the labor market serves as a moderating force on employer discrimination. In the presence of market frictions, however, recessions create excess labor supply and thus generate opportunities to engage in discriminatory behaviors far more cheaply. A natural question arises: does discrimination increase during recessions? We focus on age discrimination and test this hypothesis in two ways. We first use employee discrimination charges filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), along with an objective measure of the quality of those charges. For each one percentage point increase in a state-industry’s monthly unemployment rate, the volume of age discrimination firing and hiring charges increases by 4.8% and 3.4%, respectively. Even though the incentive to file weaker claims is stronger when unemployment is high, the fraction of meritorious claims also increases significantly when labor market conditions deteriorate. This is a sufficient condition for real (versus merely reported) discrimination to be increasing under mild assumptions. Second, we repurpose data from a correspondence study in which fictitious resumes of women were randomly assigned older versus younger ages and circulated across different cities and time periods during the recovery from the Great Recession. Each one percentage point increase in the local unemployment rate reduces the relative callback rate for older women by 14%.
    JEL: J23 J64 J71
    Date: 2020–07

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