nep-hea New Economics Papers
on Health Economics
Issue of 2020‒08‒10
forty-four papers chosen by
Nicolas R. Ziebarth
Cornell University

  1. Disability Insurance: Error Rates and Gender Differences By Low, Hamish; Pistaferri, Luigi
  2. Dismissal Protection and Long-term Sickness Absence - First Evidence from Germany By Gürtzgen, Nicole; Hiesinger, Karolin
  3. Local Exposure to School Shootings and Youth Antidepressant Use By Rossin-Slater, Maya; Schnell, Molly; Schwandt, Hannes; Trejo, Sam; Uniat, Lindsey
  4. Economic Crises and Mortality Among the Elderly. Evidence from Two Russian Crises By Evgeny Yakovlev; Margarita Khvan; Elizaveta Smorodenkova
  5. Health and aging before and after retirement By Abeliansky, Ana; Strulik, Holger
  6. A Structural Analysis of Mental Health and Labor Market Trajectories* By Gregory Jolivet; Fabien Postel-Vinay
  7. Does later retirement change your healthcare consumption ? Evidence from France By Elsa Perdrix
  8. Life expectancy at retirement and income levels in Chile By Edwards, Gonzalo; Soto, Raimundo; Zurita, Felipe
  9. Temperature, climate change and birth weight: Evidence from Hungary By Tamás Hajdu; Gábor Hajdu
  10. Peer Gender Composition and Mental Health: Evidence from Administrative Data By Getik, Demid
  11. Exploring the Long-Term Health Consequences of ADHD using a Multivariable Mendelian Randomization Network Approach By de Boer, Nina Sofie
  12. Regional differences in diabetes across Europe –regression and causal forest analyses By Péter Elek; Anikó Bíró
  13. Sex workers, Stigma and Self-Image: Evidence from Kolkata Brothels By Sayantan Ghosal; Smarajit; Jana; Anandi; Mani; Sandip; Mitra; Sanchari Roy
  14. Gender Typicality and Sexual Minority Labor Market Differentials By Ian Burn; Michael E. Martell
  15. Exploring the transitions and well-being of young people who leave school before completing secondary education in South Africa By Nicola Branson; Ariane De Lannoy; Amy Kahn
  16. Should Early Health Investments Work? Evidence from an RCT of a Home Visiting Programme By Deirdre Coy; Orla Doyle
  17. An Analysis of Cheap Cigarettes in South Africa By Kirsten van der Zee; Sibahle Magadla; Corné van Walbeek
  18. A Fat Subsidy and its Impact on Edible Oil Consumption: Evidence from India By Jaya Jumrani; J.V. Meenakshi
  19. The protective effect of smoking against COVID-19: A population-based study using instrumental variables By Zakharov, Nikita
  20. COVID 19 and Mental Health Deterioration among BAME groups in the UK By Eugenio Proto; Climent Quintana-Domeque
  21. The first 100 days of COVID-19 coronavirus – How efficient did country health systems perform to flatten the curve in the first wave? By Breitenbach, Marthinus C; Ngobeni, Victor; Ayte, Goodness
  22. Building Resilient Health Systems: Experimental Evidence from Sierra Leone and the 2014 Ebola Outbreak By Darin Christensen; Oeindrila Dube; Johannes Haushofer; Bilal Siddiqi; Maarten Voors
  23. CoronaNet: A Dyadic Dataset of Government Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic By Cindy Cheng; Joan Barcelo; Allison Spencer Hartnett; Robert Kubinec; Luca Messerschmidt
  24. How confidence in health care systems affects mobility and compliance during the COVID-19 pandemic By Ho Fai Chan; Martin Brumpton; Alison Macintyre; Jefferson Arapoc; David A. Savage; Ahmed Skali; David Stadelmann; Benno Torgler
  25. A Retrospective Bayesian Model for Measuring Covariate Effects on Observed COVID-19 Test and Case Counts By Robert Kubinec; Luiz Max Carvalho
  26. Data Article. Data mining for the study of the Epidemic (SARS- CoV-2) COVID-19: Algorithm for the identification of patients (SARS-CoV-2) COVID 19 in Mexico By Medel-Ramírez, Carlos; Medel-López, Hilario
  27. Optimal Control of an Epidemic through Social Distancing By Thomas Kruse; Philipp Strack
  28. Self-restraint behavior under COVID-19 through stigma: Theory and evidence based on mobility data By Katafuchi, Yuya; Kurita, Kenichi; Managi, Shunsuke
  29. Face mask use and physical distancing before and after mandatory masking: Evidence from public waiting lines By Seres, Gyula; Balleyer, Anna; Cerutti, Nicola; Friedrichsen, Jana; Süer, Müge
  30. Learning or habit formation? Optimal timing of lockdown for disease containment By Siddhartha Bandyopadhyay; Kalyan Chatterjee; Kaustav Das; Jaideep Roy
  31. The political scar of epidemics By Aksoy, Cevat Giray; Eichengreen, Barry; Saka, Orkun
  32. A Systematic Approach to Safety Incidents in Public Health – Applying the Human Factors Analysis and Classification System to COVID-19 By Steve J. Bickley; Benno Torgler
  33. The Effect of COVID-19 Lockdown on Mobility and Traffic Accidents: Evidence from Louisiana By Stephen R. Barnes; Louis-Philippe Beland; Jason Huh; Dongwoo Kim
  34. Briefing note COVID-19 survey: family relationships By Benzeval, Michaela; Burton, Jonathan; Crossley, Thomas F.; Fisher, Paul; Jäckle, Annette; Perelli-Harris, Brienna; Walzenbach, Sandra
  35. Modern pandemics : Recession and recovery By Ma, Chang; Rogers, John; Zhou, Sili
  36. Fair Allocation of Vaccines, Ventilators and Antiviral Treatments: Leaving No Ethical Value Behind in Health Care Rationing By Parag A. Pathak; Tayfun Sönmez; M. Utku Ünver; M. Bumin Yenmez
  37. Linking excess mortality to Google mobility data during the COVID-19 pandemic in England and Wales By Ugofilippo Basellini; Diego Alburez-Gutierrez; Emanuele Del Fava; Daniela Perrotta; Marco Bonetti; Carlo Giovanni Camarda; Emilio Zagheni
  38. Pains, Guns and Moves: The Effect of the US Opioid Epidemic on Mexican Migration By Gianmarco Daniele; Marco Le Moglie; Federico Masera
  39. The COVID-19 pandemic: Challenges and reality of quarantine, isolation and social distancing for the returnee migrants in Bangladesh By Kazi Abdul, Mannan; Khandaker Mursheda, Farhana
  40. An Approach to Predicting Regional Labor Market Effects of Economic Shocks: The COVID-19 Pandemic in New England By Osborne Jackson
  41. Divided We Stay Home: Social Distancing and Ethnic Diversity By Georgy Egorov; Ruben Enikolopov; Alexey Makarin; Maria Petrova
  42. COVID-19, social distancing, remote work and transport choice By Crowley, Frank; Daly, Hannah; Doran, Justin; Ryan, Geraldine
  43. Is increasing productivity COVID-19's silver lining? By Blit, Joel
  44. The first victims of Covid-19 in developing countries? The most vulnerable workers to the lockdown of the Tunisian economy By Mohamed Ali Marouani; Phuong Le Minh

  1. By: Low, Hamish; Pistaferri, Luigi
    Abstract: We show the extent of errors made in the award of disability insurance using matched survey-administrative data. False rejections (Type I errors) are widespread,and there are large gender differences in these type I error rates. Women with a severe, work-limiting, permanent impairment are 20 percentage points more likely to be rejected than men, controlling for the type of health condition, occupation, and a host of demographic characteristics. We investigate whether these gender differences in Type I errors are due to women being in better health than men, to women having lower pain thresholds, or to women applying more readily for disability insurance. None of these explanations are consistent with the data. We use evidence from disability vignettes to suggest that there are different acceptance thresholds for men and women. The differences by gender arise because women are more likely to be assessed as being able to find other work than observationally equivalent men. Despite this, after rejection,women with a self-reported work limitation do not return to work, compared to rejected women without a work limitation.
    Keywords: Disability insurance; gender differences
    JEL: I38 J16
    Date: 2019–12
  2. By: Gürtzgen, Nicole (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany]); Hiesinger, Karolin (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany])
    Abstract: "This paper analyses the causal effects of weaker dismissal protection on the incidence of long-term sickness (> six weeks). We exploit a German policy change, which shifted the threshold exempting small establishments from dismissal protection from five to ten workers. Using administrative data, we find a significantly negative reform effect on transitions into long-term sickness in the second year after a worker has entered an establishment. This response is due to a behavioural, rather than a compositional effect and is mainly driven by less skilled workers. Our results further indicate that the reform did not alter the probability of involuntary unemployment after sickness." (Author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))
    JEL: D02 I12 J28 J38 J88 J63 K31
  3. By: Rossin-Slater, Maya; Schnell, Molly; Schwandt, Hannes; Trejo, Sam; Uniat, Lindsey
    Abstract: While over 240,000 American students experienced a school shooting in the last two decades, little is known about the impacts of these events on the mental health of surviving youth. Using large-scale prescription data from 2006 to 2015, we examine the effects of 44 school shootings on youth antidepressant use in a difference-in-difference framework. We find that local exposure to fatal school shootings increases youth antidepressant use by 21.4 percent in the following two years. These effects are smaller in areas with a higher density of mental health providers who focus on behavioral, rather than pharmacological, interventions.
    Date: 2019–12
  4. By: Evgeny Yakovlev (New Economic School); Margarita Khvan (New Economic School); Elizaveta Smorodenkova (New Economic School)
    Abstract: We assess the short-term effects of the two recent economic crises, the Great Recession and the collapse of the USSR, on the elderly mortality in Russia. According to our study, crises have led to an increase in mortality with quantitatively similar elasticities of death with respect to GDP fall for both events. Further analysis of the Great Recession suggests that income depreciation, limited access to medical services, and an increase in alcohol consumption are responsible for the rise in mortality. While increases at a higher rate compared to overall mortality, alcohol-related mortality explains a relatively small part of total mortality rise.
    Keywords: Mortality, health, crisis, RUSSIA, Great Recession
    JEL: H1 I1 J1
    Date: 2020–07
  5. By: Abeliansky, Ana; Strulik, Holger
    Abstract: In this paper, we investigate health and aging before and after retirement for specific occupational groups. We use five waves of the Survey of Health, Aging, and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) dataset and construct a frailty index for elderly men and women from 10 European countries. We classify occupation by low vs. high education, blue vs. white collar color, and by high vs. low physical or psychosocial job burden. Controlling for individual fixed effects, we find that, regardless of the used classification, workers from the first (low status) group display more health deficits at any age and accumulate health deficits faster than workers from the second (high status) group. We instrument retirement by statutory retirement ages ("normal" and "early") and find that the health of workers in low status occupations benefits greatly from retirement, whereas retirement effects for workers in high status occupations are small and frequently insignificant. We also find that workers from low status occupations accumulate health deficits faster after retirement, i.e. we find evidence for an occupational health gradient that widens with increasing age, before and after retirement.
    Keywords: health deficits,occupation,retirement,frailty index,Europe
    JEL: I10 I19 J13
    Date: 2020
  6. By: Gregory Jolivet; Fabien Postel-Vinay
    Abstract: We analyze the joint life-cycle dynamics of labor market and mental health outcomes. We allow for two-way interactions between work and mental health. We model selection into jobs on a labor market with search frictions, accounting for the level of exposure to stress in each job using data on occupational health contents. We estimate our model on British data from Understanding Society combined with information from O*NET. We estimate the impact of job characteristics on health dynamics and of the e ects of health and job stress contents on career choices. We use our model to quantify the e ects of job loss or health shocks that propagate over the life cycle through both health and work channels. We also estimate the (large) values workers attach to health, employment or non-stressful jobs. Lastly, we investigate the consequences on health, employment and inequality of trend changes in the distribution of job health contents.
    Date: 2020–07–29
  7. By: Elsa Perdrix (PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PSE - Paris School of Economics, IPP - Institut des politiques publiques)
    Abstract: This paper examines the causal impact of later retirement on doctor visits among the French elderly. This question is of interest since spillover effects may arise if later retirement increases healthcare expenditure. I exploit the 1993 French pension reform in a two-stage least square to deal with the endogeneity of retirement. This reform leads to a progressive increase in claiming age, cohort by cohort from 1934 to 1943. I use a two-part model to disentangle between extensive and intensive margin. I use the administrative data HYGIE to observe both healthcare consumption between 2005 and 2015 and past careers. I find that an increase in retirement by four months decreases significantly the probability to have at least one doctor visit per year by 0.815 percentage point and decreases the number of doctor visits by 1.14% between ages 67 and 75. This effect is driven by the consumption of generalist doctor visits, and tends to be stronger for the first ages of consumption observed.
    Keywords: Pension reform,Health,Healthcare consumption
    Date: 2020–07
  8. By: Edwards, Gonzalo; Soto, Raimundo; Zurita, Felipe
    Abstract: We document that life expectancies at the age of retirement differ significantly by income levels and gender in Chile. Using a sample of over 500 thousand workers that retired under the annuity system, we find that, conditional on reaching retirement age, there is a three-year difference in life expectancy between the lower and higher income groups. Differences are similar for men and women. We also find that as income per capita in Chile expanded over the past three decades, poverty levels have decreased quite markedly among pensioners. The evidence on income distribution is less clear cut. While income inequality is lower for the new generations, it increases after retirement within each generation as the poor die younger than the rich workers. Gender differences are also noteworthy. First, income among women is less unequal than that of men at retirement age and afterwards. Second, income inequality among retired men progressively worsens over time, while among women it remains stagnant over time. Our results have important im- plications for welfare projections, the allocation of health subsidies among pensioners, and the structure and management of the reserves required to life-insurance companies.
    Keywords: Equidad e inclusión social, Género, Pobreza, Salud, Trabajo y protección social,
    Date: 2020
  9. By: Tamás Hajdu (Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, 1097 Budapest, Tóth Kálmán u. 4, Hungary); Gábor Hajdu (Institute for Sociology, Centre for Social Sciences, 1097 Budapest, Tóth Kálmán u. 4, Hungary)
    Abstract: We analyze the impact of in utero temperature exposure on the birth weight and prevalence of low birth weight using administrative data on singleton live births conceived between 2000 and 2016 in Hungary. We find that exposure to high temperatures during pregnancy decreases birth weight, but its impact on the probability of low birth weight is weaker. Exposure to one additional hot day (mean temperature >25°C) during the gestation period reduces birth weight by 0.5 grams. The second and third trimesters appear to be slightly more sensitive to temperature exposure than the first trimester. We project that climate change will decrease birth weight and increase the prevalence of low birth weight by the mid-21st century. The projected impacts are the strongest for newborns conceived during the winter and spring months.
    Keywords: birth weight; low birth weight; health at birth; temperature; climate change
    JEL: I10 J13 Q54
    Date: 2020–07
  10. By: Getik, Demid (Department of Economics, Lund University)
    Abstract: Adolescent mental health is key for later well-being. Yet, causal evidence on environmental drivers of adolescent mental health is scant. I study how an important classroom feature - gender composition in compulsory-school - affects mental health. I exploit Swedish register data (N = 576,285) to link variation in gender composition across classrooms within cohorts to mental health diagnoses. The results indicate that a higher share of female peers in one's class reduces mental health, particularly among boys. The effects persist after students' transition to a different high-school class. Peer composition can thus be an important and persistent driver of early mental health.
    Keywords: gender; peer effects; mental health
    JEL: I19 I21 J16
    Date: 2020–07–17
  11. By: de Boer, Nina Sofie
    Abstract: Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has been associated with adulthood chronic physical illnesses such as coronary artery disease (CAD) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However, the potential causes and mediators which underlie this relationship – such as alcohol use, smoking and educational attainment (EA) –, have not yet been studied simultaneously. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between ADHD, CAD, COPD and these potential causes and mediators by construing a direct causal network using genetic information in a multivariable Mendelian randomization (MR) design. After examining how the individual traits were associated to each other by estimating the genetic (partial) correlations, the total and direct causal effects of the traits on each other were examined using univariable and multivariable MR. The analyses demonstrated evidence for the following direct causal pathway: lower EA increases risk of ADHD diagnosis, causing an increased risk of smoking initiation, causing increased COPD risk. No significant causal relationship between ADHD and CAD could be identified. Future studies should address the reliability and validity of the demonstrated relationships.
    Date: 2020–07–01
  12. By: Péter Elek (Department of Economics, Eötvös Loránd University, 1112 Budapest, Pázmány Péter sétány 1/a and Health and Population Lendület Research Group, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, 1097 Budapest, Tóth Kálmán u. 4.); Anikó Bíró (Health and Population Lendület Research Group, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Tóth Kálmán u. 4., H-1097 Budapest, Hungary)
    Abstract: We examine regional differences in diabetes within Europe, and relate them to variations in socio-economic conditions, comorbidities, health behaviour and diabetes management. Using SHARE (Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe) data, first, we estimate multivariate regressions, where the outcome variables are diabetes prevalence, diabetes incidence, and weight loss due to diet as an indicator of management. Second, we study the heterogeneous impact of the risk factors on the regional differences in incidence with causal random forests. Compared to Western Europe, the transition odds to diabetes is 2.3-fold in Southern and 2.7-fold in Eastern Europe, which decreases to 2.0 and 2.1 after adjusting for individual characteristics. The remaining differences are explained by country-specific healthcare indicators. Based on the causal forest approach, the adjusted East-West difference is essentially zero for the lowest risk groups (tertiary education, no hypertension, no overweight) and increases substantially with these risk factors, but the South-West difference is much less heterogeneous. The prevalence of diet-related weight loss around the time of diagnosis also exhibits regional variation. The results suggest that more emphasis should be put on diabetes prevention among high-risk individuals in Eastern Europe.
    Keywords: causal forest, diabetes, Europe, health behaviour, SHARE data
    JEL: C21 C45 I10 I12 I14
    Date: 2020–06
  13. By: Sayantan Ghosal; Smarajit; Jana; Anandi; Mani; Sandip; Mitra; Sanchari Roy
    Abstract: This paper studies the link between self-image and behaviour among those who face stigma due to povertyand social exclusion. Using a randomized field experiment with sex workers in Kolkata (India), we examine whether a psychological intervention aimed at mitigating the adverse effects of internatlized stigma can induce behaviour change. We find significant improvements in participants' self-image, as well as their savings and preventive health choices. Additionally, changes in savings and health behaviour persist up to fifteen and 21 months later respectively. Our findings highlight the potential of purely psychological interventions to improve the life choices and outcomes of marginalized groups.
    Keywords: Stigma; Self-image; Saving Public health; HIV prevention; Gender sex workers; India
    JEL: O12 J15 D87
    Date: 2020
  14. By: Ian Burn; Michael E. Martell
    Abstract: Sexual minorities experience significant differences in labor market outcomes relative to comparable heterosexuals, with larger differences in earnings than in labor supply. A common explanation of these differences is that they may reflect unobserved differences inmasculinity and femininity in the sexual minority population. We leverage data on personality and behaviors in the National Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (AddHealth) to test whether controlling for differences in masculinity and femininity through quantitative measures of gender typicality eliminates labor market differentials. While we find evidence that gender typicality does affect labor market outcomes of men and women on average, we find no evidence of a differential effect for gays and lesbians. Controlling for these factors does not affect sexual orientation labor market differentials, suggesting that existing estimates of earnings differentials are not affected by omitted variable bias due to not controlling for gender typicality.
    Date: 2020–06
  15. By: Nicola Branson (SALDRU, University of Cape Town); Ariane De Lannoy (SALDRU, University of Cape Town); Amy Kahn (SALDRU, University of Cape Town)
    Abstract: In South Africa, young people who have not completed their matric year, or the equivalent thereof, are more likely to struggle to find work, and remain unemployed for longer periods of time, or, if they do find work, are less likely to access stable, higher income jobs (Ingle and Mlatsheni, 2017; Mlatsheni and Ranchhod, 2017; Branson and Kahn, 2016; Salisbury, 2016; Van der Berg and Van Broekhuizen, 2012). Internationally, a growing body of research indicates additional negative outcomes for youth who do not complete secondary education, ranging from higher levels of poverty, to ill health (including mental health), substance abuse, delinquency, incarceration, and prolonged dependence on social assistance (Bjerk, 2012; De Witte et al. 2013; Kimberly and Knight 2011; Lund, et al., 2018). These outcomes create an obvious concern for the loss of human potential for the individual. They also lead to questions about countries' high rates of investment in educational systems and the effectiveness of those systems, and are at the basis of concerns about the larger societal and economic costs of incomplete education.
    Date: 2019
  16. By: Deirdre Coy (Geary Institute for Public Policy, University College Dublin); Orla Doyle (Geary Institute for Public Policy, University College Dublin)
    Abstract: Evidence for the short-term impact of early intervention on childhood health is weak and inconsistent. Using rigorous methods, careful hypothesis setting, and socioeconomic contextualisation, we examine the impact of an Irish home visiting programme on child health. The treatment provides mentoring visits from pregnancy until school entry to improve child outcomes through positively affecting parenting. In a context where socioeconomic inequalities in health have yet to emerge, modest effects by age four are found, driven by reduced hospital attendance. Conflicting reports in the literature may thus arise from an over-expectation of hypothesized effects and failure to account for social contexts.
    Keywords: Home visiting programme, randomised controlled trial, child health, health inequality, human capital formation
    JEL: I14 I12 J13
    Date: 2020–07–08
  17. By: Kirsten van der Zee (Economics of Tobacco Control Project, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town); Sibahle Magadla (Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town); Corné van Walbeek (Economics of Tobacco Control Project, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town)
    Abstract: Using wave 5 of the National Income Dynamics Study, conducted in 2017, this paper investigates the market for very low-priced cigarettes, which probably are illicit. We find that approximately 30% of cigarettes consumed in South Africa are bought for R20 or less per 20-pack. Low-priced cigarettes are found across all nine provinces and these products are consumed in substantial quantities across all racial and socio-economic groups. At the margin, purchase of very cheap cigarettes in South Africa is associated with lower socio-economic factors, such as having lower levels of income and educational attainment. Cheap cigarettes are also strongly associated with specific packaging types, specifically 20-packs and cartons of 200. As illicit cigarettes undermine both the fiscal and health agendas of tobacco taxation policy, we strongly urge the relevant authorities to implement measures to curb the illicit trade.
    Date: 2019
  18. By: Jaya Jumrani (Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics); J.V. Meenakshi (Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics)
    Abstract: Nearly one-fifth of adult Indians are overweight or obese. Among potential interventions to address the public health problem this poses, are the so-called fat taxes. While these are yet to be implemented in India at scale, this paper looks at the impact of a negative tax (subsidy) on palm oil that has been implemented in three states—Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh— to examine the extent to which this policy has had an impact on edible oil consumption. Using consumer expenditure survey data, and a matched differences-in-differences approach, the paper finds that the subsidy on palm oil led to an increase in its consumption, both in rural and urban areas, with effects being more pronounced in rural areas. The increases are also the largest in Tamil Nadu, relative to other states. There was modest impact on overall consumption of edible oils in rural areas of two states; and there is consistent evidence that consumers displaced market-sourced groundnut and coconut oils for palm oil. The paper draws some nutritional implications of this switch.
    JEL: H31 I38 Q18
    Date: 2020–07
  19. By: Zakharov, Nikita
    Abstract: A low prevalence of smokers among the confirmed patients with COVID-19 has been reported by multiple hospital-based studies, and this observation gave rise to a hypothesis that smoking has a protective effect against the novel coronavirus. We test this prediction in a population-based study across the US states and use an instrumental variable approach to address the endogeneity of smoking rates. We find that a higher prevalence of smoking has a significant negative effect on the spread and the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic across the US state: it decreases the per capita number of registered cases, the case fatality rate, and the excess mortality. The protective effect is more pronounced in subgroups of the population that are more likely to be smokers: men of all ages and females of the older cohort. Our findings are robust to the inclusion of a broad range of control variables, exclusion of outliers, and placebo tests. Despite the protective effect against the COVID-19, smoking remains detrimental for health in the long-term, and we show that states with a higher rate of smoking also have higher mortality in the year before the outbreak.
    Keywords: COVID-19, US states, smoking, cigarettes, case fatality rate, excess mortality
    JEL: H71 I12 I18 J11
    Date: 2020–06–19
  20. By: Eugenio Proto (University of Glasgow); Climent Quintana-Domeque (University of Exeter)
    Abstract: We use the UK Household Longitudinal Study and compare pre- (2017-2019) and post-COVID-19 data (April 2020) for the same group of individuals to assess and quantify changes in mental health among ethnic groups in the UK. We confirm the previously documented average deterioration in mental health for the whole sample of individuals interviewed pre- and post-COVID-19, and uncover four new facts. First, ethnicity predicts mental health deterioration when interacted with gender. Among men, BAME individuals experience a higher deterioration in mental health compared to British White individuals. However, among women, the deterioration in mental health is similar for both BAME and British White individuals. Second, the gender gap in mental health deterioration is only present among British White individuals and not among BAME individuals. Third, the drop in mental health among women and BAME men is very similar. Finally, there is substantial heterogeneity across BAME groups. The BAME group of Bangladeshi, Indian and Pakistani appears to be driving the difference in the gender gap in mental health deterioration between British White and BAME individuals. We call for additional research on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic across different ethnic groups, and urge both policy makers and researchers to allocate resources to collect larger sample sizes of minority ethnic groups.
    Keywords: GHQ-12, wellbeing, mental health, mental distress, ethnicity, gender
    JEL: I10 J10 J15 I14
    Date: 2020–07
  21. By: Breitenbach, Marthinus C; Ngobeni, Victor; Ayte, Goodness
    Abstract: In this novel paper, we make use of a non-parametric method known as Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) to analyse the 31 most infected countries during the first 100 days since the outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus for the efficiency in containing the spread of the virus – a question yet to be answered in the literature. Our model showed 12 of the 31 countries in our sample were efficient and 19 inefficient in the use of resources to manage the flattening of their COVID-19 contagion curves. Among the worst performers were some of the richest countries in the world, Germany, Canada, the USA and Austria, with efficiency between 50 and 60 per cent - more inefficient than Italy, France and Belgium, who were some of those hardest hit by the spread of the virus.
    Keywords: Pandemic, COVID-19, Flattening the Curve, Data Envelopment Analysis, Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions, Healthcare, Technical Efficiency, Healthcare system efficiency barometer.
    JEL: C61 D24 I10
    Date: 2020–05–10
  22. By: Darin Christensen; Oeindrila Dube; Johannes Haushofer; Bilal Siddiqi; Maarten Voors
    Abstract: Developing countries are characterized by high rates of mortality and morbidity. A potential contributing factor is the low utilization of health systems, stemming from the low perceived quality of care deliv- ered by health personnel. This factor may be especially critical during crises, when individuals choose whether to cooperate with response efforts and frontline health personnel. We experimentally examine efforts aimed at improving health worker performance in the context of the 2014–15 West African Ebola crisis. Roughly two years before the outbreak in Sierra Leone, we randomly assigned two accountability interventions to government-run health clinics — one focused on community monitoring and the other gave status awards to clinic staff. We find that over the medium run, prior to the Ebola crisis, both inter- ventions led to improvements in utilization of clinics and patient satisfaction with the health system. In addition, child health outcomes improved substantially in the catchment areas of community monitoring clinics. During the crisis, the interventions also led to higher reported Ebola cases, as well as lower mor- tality from Ebola — particularly in areas with community monitoring clinics. We explore three potential mechanisms: the interventions (1) increased the likelihood that patients reported Ebola symptoms and sought care; (2) unintentionally increased Ebola incidence; or (3) improved surveillance efforts. We find evidence consistent with the first: by building trust and confidence in health workers, and improving the perceived quality of care provided by clinics prior to the outbreak, the interventions encouraged patients to report and receive treatment. Our results suggest that accountability interventions not only have the power to improve health systems during normal times, but can additionally make health systems resilient to crises that may emerge over the longer run
    Date: 2020
  23. By: Cindy Cheng; Joan Barcelo; Allison Spencer Hartnett; Robert Kubinec; Luca Messerschmidt (Division of Social Science)
    Abstract: Governments everywhere have implemented a broad range of policies that have been highly influential in shaping the COVID-19 pandemic. We present an initial public release of a large hand-coded dataset of over 10,000 separate policy announcements made in response to the pandemic across more than 190 countries. The dataset will be updated daily, with a 5-day lag for validity checking. We currently document policies across numerous dimensions, including the type of policy implemented; national vs. sub-national enforcement; the specific group targeted by the policy; and the time frame within which the policy is implemented. We further analyze the dataset using a Bayesian measurement model which shows the quick acceleration of high-cost policies across countries beginning in mid-March and continuing to the present. While some relatively low-cost policies like task forces and health monitoring began early, countries generally adopted harsher measures within a narrow time window, suggesting strong policy diffusion effects.
    Date: 2020–04
  24. By: Ho Fai Chan; Martin Brumpton; Alison Macintyre; Jefferson Arapoc; David A. Savage; Ahmed Skali; David Stadelmann; Benno Torgler
    Abstract: Trust in the health care system requires being confident that suffic ient and appropriate treatments will be provided if needed. The CO VID-19 public health crisis is a significant, global, and (mostly) simultaneous test of the behav ioral implications arising from this trust. We explore whether populations reporting low l evels of confidence in the health care system exhibit a stronger behavioral reaction to th e COVID-19 pandemic. We track the dynamic responses to the COVID-19 pandemic across 38 countries and 621 regions by exploiting a large dataset on human mobility generated between February 15 and June 5, 2020 and a broad range of contextual factors (e.g. deaths or policy implementations). Using a time-dynamic framework we find that societies with low level s of health care confid ence initially exhibit a faster response with respect to staying home. However, this reaction plateaus sooner, and after the plateau it declines with greater magnitude than does the response from societies with high health care confidence. On the other hand, regions with higher confidence in the health care system are more likely to reduce mobility once the government mandates that its citizens are not to leave home except for essen tial trips, compared to those with lower health care system confidence. Regions with high trust in the govern ment but low confidence in the health care system dramatically reduce their mobility, sugges ting a correlation for trust in the state with respect to behavioral responses during a crisis.
    Keywords: Trust; Health Care; Health Behavior; Covid-19
    JEL: I20 I18
    Date: 2020–07
  25. By: Robert Kubinec; Luiz Max Carvalho (Division of Social Science)
    Abstract: As the COVID-19 outbreak progresses, increasing numbers of researchers are examining how an array of factors either hurt or help the spread of the disease. Unfortunately, the majority of available data, primarily confirmed cases of COVID-19, are widely known to be biased indicators of the spread of the disease. In this paper we present a retrospective Bayesian model that is much simpler than epidemiological models of disease progression but is still able to identify the effect of covariates on the historical infection rate. The model is validated by comparing our estimation of the count of infected to projections from expert surveys and extant disease forecasts. To apply the model, we show that as of April 20th, there are approximately 3 million infected people in the United States, and these people are increasingly concentrated in states with more wealth, better air quality, fewer smokers, more residents under the age of 18, more public health funding and a history of more cardiovascular deaths. On the other hand, the timing of state declarations of emergency and the proportion of people who voted for President Trump in 2016 are not clear predictors of COVID-19 trends. In addition, we find that the US states have increased testing at approximately the same level in line with infections, suggesting that testing has not yet increased significantly above infection trends.
    Date: 2020–04
  26. By: Medel-Ramírez, Carlos; Medel-López, Hilario
    Abstract: The importance of the working document is that it allows analyzing the information and status of the cases associated with (SARS-CoV-2) COVID-19 as open data at the municipal, state and national levels, with a daily registry of patients, according to age, sex, comorbidities, for the condition of (SARS-CoV-2) COVID-19 according to the following characteristics: a) Positive, b) Negatives, c) Suspects. Likewise, it presents information regarding the identification of an outpatient and / or hospitalized patient, attending to their medical development, identifying: a) Recovered, b) Deaths and c) Assets, in Phase 3 and Phase 4, at the national state and municipal level in Mexico, the data analysis is carried out by applying an algorithm of data mining, which provides the information, fast and timely, required for the estimation of Scenarios for Medical Care of the (SARS-CoV-2) COVID-19. • The Algorithm for the identification of patients (SARS-CoV-2) COVID 19 in Mexico allows to analyze at the municipal, state and national level, the registry of patients, according to age, sex, co-morbidities, for condition of (SARS-CoV-2) COVID-19 according to the following characteristics: a) Positive, b) Negative, c) Suspicious, as well as presenting information on the identification of an outpatient and / or hospitalized patient, attending to their medical development, identifying: a) Recovered, b ) Deaths and c) Assets, in Phase 3 and Phase 4, in a fast and timely manner, to support public decision-making in health matters.
    Keywords: (SARS-CoV-2) COVID-19, Algorithm (SARS-CoV-2) COVID-19, Mexico, identification of patients
    JEL: A23 C8 C83 C88 H12 I18
    Date: 2020–06–03
  27. By: Thomas Kruse (Giessen University); Philipp Strack (Cowles Foundation, Yale University)
    Abstract: We analyze how to optimally engage in social distancing in order to minimize the spread of an infectious disease. We identify conditions under which any optimal policy is single-peaked, i.e., ï¬ rst engages in increasingly more social distancing and subsequently decreases its intensity. We show that an optimal policy might delay measures that decrease the transmission rate substantially to create herd-immunity and that engaging in social distancing sub-optimally early can increase the number of fatalities. Finally, we ï¬ nd that optimal social distancing can be an effective measure and can substantially reduce the death rate of a disease.
    Keywords: Social Distancing, SIR model, Time-Optimal Control of an Epidemic
    Date: 2020–04
  28. By: Katafuchi, Yuya; Kurita, Kenichi; Managi, Shunsuke
    Abstract: This study conducts both theoretical and empirical analyses of how the non-legally-binding policies originating from COVID-19 affect people's going-out behavior. The theoretical analysis assumes that under a declared state of emergency, the individual going out suffers psychological costs arising from both the risk of infection and the stigma of going out. Thus, a hypothesis is derived that under a declared state of emergency, going out entails a strong psychological cost, and thus people refrain from going out. In the empirical analysis, this study estimates the model using a set of panel data from regional mobility data and from emergency declarations at the prefectural level to analyze self-restraint behavior under a non-legally binding emergency declaration. The results reveal that, compared with the pre-declaration of the state of emergency, going-out behavior under and after lifting of the state of emergency was suppressed even when the going-out behavior did not result in penalties, which is consistent with the theoretical analysis.
    Keywords: COVID-19, Stigma, Self-restraint behavior, Non-legally binding policy, Regional mobility
    JEL: D91 I12 I18
    Date: 2020–08–02
  29. By: Seres, Gyula; Balleyer, Anna; Cerutti, Nicola; Friedrichsen, Jana; Süer, Müge
    Abstract: During the COVID-19 pandemic, the introduction of mandatory face mask usage was accompanied by a heated debate. It was argued that community use of masks creates a false sense of security that could decrease social distancing, thus making matters worse. We conducted a randomized field experiment in Berlin, Germany, to investigate whether masks lead to decreases in distancing and whether this mask effect interacts with the introduction of a mask mandate in Berlin. Joining lines in front of stores, we measured the distance kept from the experimenter in two treatment conditions - the experimenter wore a mask in one and no face covering in the other - both before and after the introduction of mandatory mask use in stores. We find no evidence that mandatory masking has a negative effect on distance keeping. To the contrary, in our study, masks significantly increase distancing and the effect does not differ between the two periods. Further, we find no evidence that the mask mandate affected distancing. However, our results suggest that the relaxation of shop opening restrictions had a negative effect on distancing.
    Keywords: COVID-19,Face Masks,Social Distancing,Risk Compensation,Field Experiment,Health Policy
    JEL: I12 D9 C93
    Date: 2020
  30. By: Siddhartha Bandyopadhyay (University of Birmingham); Kalyan Chatterjee (Penn State University); Kaustav Das (University of Leicester); Jaideep Roy (University of Bath)
    Abstract: We analyse a model where the government has to decide whether to impose a lockdown in a country to prevent the spread of a possibly virulent disease. If the government decides to impose a lockdown, it has to determine its intensity, timing and duration. We find that there are two competing effects that push the decision in either direction. An early lockdown is beneficial not only to slow down the spread of the disease, but to create beneficial habit formation (such as social distancing, developing hygienic habits) that persists even after the lockdown is lifted. Against that, an early lockdown in addition to damaging the economy, leads to a loss of information and impedes learning about the nature and the dynamics of the disease. Based on the prior probability of the disease being virulent, we characterise the timing, intensity and duration of a lockdown with the above mentioned tradeoffs. Specifically, we show that as the precision of learning goes up, a government tends to delay the imposition of lockdown. Conversely, if the habit formation parameter is very strong, a government is likely to impose an early lockdown.
    Keywords: COVID-19; Lockdown; Learning; Habit formation.
    JEL: C61 D81 I10
    Date: 2020–07
  31. By: Aksoy, Cevat Giray; Eichengreen, Barry; Saka, Orkun
    Abstract: What will be political legacy of the Coronavirus pandemic? We find that epidemic exposure in an individual’s “impressionable years” (ages 18 to 25) has a persistent negative effect on confidence in political institutions and leaders. We find similar negative effects on confidence in public health systems, suggesting that the loss of confidence in political leadership and institutions is associated with healthcare-related policies at the time of the epidemic. In line with this argument, our results are mostly driven by individuals who experienced epidemics under weak governments with less capacity to act against the epidemic, disappointing their citizens. We provide evidence of this mechanism by showing that weak governments took longer to introduce policy interventions in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. These results imply that the Coronavirus may leave behind a long-lasting political scar on the current young generation (“Generation Z”).
    JEL: D72 F50 I19
    Date: 2020–06–27
  32. By: Steve J. Bickley; Benno Torgler
    Abstract: In this article, we argue for application of the Human Factors Analysis and Classification System (HFACS) to proactive incidence prevention in the public health system response to COVID-19. HFACS is a framework of causal categories of human errors typically applied for systematic retrospective incident analysis in high-risk domains. By leveraging this approach proactively, appropriate, and targeted measures can be quickly identified and established to mitigate potential errors at different levels within the public health system (from frontline healthcare workers to regulatory and statutory decision makers).
    Date: 2020–07
  33. By: Stephen R. Barnes (Kathleen Babineaux Blanco Public Policy Center at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette); Louis-Philippe Beland (Department of Economics, Carleton University); Jason Huh (Department of Economics, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute); Dongwoo Kim (Department of Economics, Texas Christian University)
    Abstract: We use a regression discontinuity design to study the effect of the COVID-19 lockdown on mobility and traffic accidents. Based on data from Google Community Mobility reports and Uniform Traffic Crash Report from the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LaDOTD), we find that the stay-at-home order led to a large decrease in traffic accidents (-47 percent). In particular, we find a large decrease in accidents involving injury (-46 percent), distracted drivers (-43 percent), and ambulances (-41 percent). We also find evidence of a change in the composition of accidents, with more incidents involving individuals aged 25 to 64, male, and nonwhite drivers. Interestingly, we find no impact on ambulance response time, despite lower traffic. Finally, we document a large decrease in mobility in Louisiana. Our results have important policy implications for traffic management policies.
    Keywords: COVID-19, Lockdown, Accidents, Traffic Management, Regression Discontinuity
    JEL: R20 R41 R42 R48 H41 D62
    Date: 2020–07
  34. By: Benzeval, Michaela; Burton, Jonathan; Crossley, Thomas F.; Fisher, Paul; Jäckle, Annette; Perelli-Harris, Brienna; Walzenbach, Sandra
    Abstract: The Understanding Society COVID-19 study is a regular survey on the experiences and reactions of the UK population to the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey is an integral part of Understanding Society and researchers can link data from the COVID-19 survey to answers respondents have given in previous and future waves of the annual Understanding Society survey.The survey is funded by the ESRC and the Health Foundation. This briefing covers the questions on parent and child relationships in Wave 2 of the survey. The questions cover parents relationships with children and whether they have become better or worse since the government's 'stay at home' policy; whether parents quarrel, talk with their childnren about important things or get on each others' nerves; the reduction in hours spent in paid work to care for children and time spent on home schooling and caring for children.Â
    Date: 2020–07–23
  35. By: Ma, Chang; Rogers, John; Zhou, Sili
    Abstract: We examine the immediate effects and bounce-back from six modern health crises: 1968 Flu, SARS (2003), H1N1 (2009), MERS (2012), Ebola (2014), and Zika (2016). Time-series models for a large cross-section of countries indicate that real GDP growth falls by around three percentage points in affected countries relative to unaffected countries in the year of the outbreak. Bounce-back in GDP growth is rapid, but output is still below pre-shock level five years later. Unemployment for less educated workers is higher and exhibits more persistence, and there is significantly greater persistence in female unemployment than male. The negative effects on GDP and unemployment are felt less in countries with larger first-year responses in government spending, especially on health care. Affected countries’ consumption declines, investment drops sharply, and international trade plummets. Bounce-back in these expenditure categories is also rapid but not by enough to restore pre-shock trends. Furthermore, indirect effects on own-country GDP from affected trading partners are significant for both the initial GDP decline and the positive bounce back. We discuss why our estimates are a lower bound for the global economic effects of COVID-19 and compare contours of the current pandemic to the historical episodes.
    JEL: I10 E60 F40
    Date: 2020–07–03
  36. By: Parag A. Pathak (MIT); Tayfun Sönmez (Boston College); M. Utku Ünver (Boston College); M. Bumin Yenmez (Boston College)
    Abstract: COVID-19 has revealed several limitations of existing mechanisms for rationing scarce medical resources under emergency scenarios. Many argue that they abandon various ethical values such as equity by discriminating against disadvantaged communities. Illustrating that these limitations are aggravated by a restrictive choice of mechanism, we formulate pandemic rationing of medical resources as a new application of market design and propose a reserve system as a resolution. We develop a general theory of reserve design, introduce new concepts such as cutoff equilibria and smart reserves, extend previously-known ones such as sequential reserve matching, and relate these concepts to current debates.
    Keywords: ethical rationing, reserve system, COVID-19, vaccine, ventilator
    JEL: D45 D47 I14
    Date: 2020–07–31
  37. By: Ugofilippo Basellini; Diego Alburez-Gutierrez; Emanuele Del Fava; Daniela Perrotta; Marco Bonetti; Carlo Giovanni Camarda; Emilio Zagheni
    Abstract: Following the outbreak of COVID-19, a number of non-pharmaceutical interventions have been implemented to contain the spread of the pandemic. Despite the recent reduction in the number of infections and deaths in Europe, it is still unclear to which extent these governmental actions have contained the spread of the disease and reduced mortality. In this article, we estimate the effects of reduced human mobility on excess mortality using digital mobility data at the regional level in England and Wales. Specifically, we employ the Google COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports, which offer an approximation to the changes in mobility due to different social distancing measures. Considering that changes in mobility would require some time before having an effect on mortality, we analyse the relationship between excess mortality and lagged indicators of human mobility. We find a negative association between excess mortality and time spent at home, as well as a positive association with changes in outdoor mobility, after controlling for the time trend of the pandemic and regional differences. We estimate that almost 130,000 excess deaths have been averted as a result of the increased time spent at home. In addition to addressing a key scientific question, our results have important policy implications for future pandemics and a potential second wave of COVID-19.
    Date: 2020
  38. By: Gianmarco Daniele; Marco Le Moglie; Federico Masera
    Abstract: The opioid epidemic and migration along the US–Mexico border are two of the most-debated policy issues in recent US politics. We show how these two topics are interlinked: the US opioid epidemic generated large Mexican migration flows. We exploit the fact that in 2010, a series of reforms to the US health care system resulted in a shift in demand from legal opiates to heroin. This demand shock had considerable effects on Mexico, the main supplier of heroin consumed in the US. Violence and conflicts increased in Mexican municipalities suitable for opium production, as they became highly valuable to drug cartels. People migrated out of these municipalities to escape this violence, mostly to areas close to the US border and into the US. The rise in US demand for heroin increased internal migration by an estimated 90,000 individuals and migration across the border at least by 12,000.
    Keywords: opioid crisis, migration, violence, organized crime, Mexico
    Date: 2020
  39. By: Kazi Abdul, Mannan; Khandaker Mursheda, Farhana
    Abstract: The fundamental objective of this study is to examine how much quarantine, isolation and social distance have been applied and complied with in the case of Bangladeshi returnees to prevent infection and spread during the initial stage of the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey was conducted during the period of 1st February to 31st March, 2020 of total 3,281 respondents were participated from eight administrative division of Bangladesh. The study found that the three of the compliance with health regulations, including 14 days of quarantine, isolation and maintaining social distance, are severely hampered. Indifference has been seen among the returnees in the same way that the government has failed to comply with the above three measures from the very beginning. Therefore, this study realizes with deep sadness that in the coming days, there is a good chance that the COVID-19 epidemic in Bangladesh will reach a large scale. This huge influx of returnee could spread the epidemic in Bangladesh at once. The arrival checkpoints in Bangladesh, from where they came to their homes and the type of transport they have come in contact with, are expected to gradually spread everywhere. Thus, the study suggests that the current level of health and medical care in Bangladesh, as well as the densely populated country could lead to a catastrophic epidemic that could be more severe than any other country.
    Keywords: COVID-19, pandemic, quarantine, isolation, social distancing, migration
    JEL: I0 I1 I18 I19 J0 J6
    Date: 2020
  40. By: Osborne Jackson
    Abstract: The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic led state and local governments throughout New England and much of the nation to issue ordinances restricting activity that might otherwise contribute to the spread of the disease. Individuals also freely adjusted their behavior, hoping to reduce the chances of infecting themselves or others. As a result, many employers have experienced substantial reductions in sales revenue, which were expected to generate harmful effects on the labor market. Even though the reversal of mandated policies and voluntary behavior changes are well under way, the initial effects and ongoing public health concerns may extend the time needed for labor market outcomes to improve substantially. This study uses pre-pandemic employment data by occupation and a conceptual framework focused on labor costs to identify the subpopulation most vulnerable to the economic shock and predict layoffs and unemployment in the second quarter of 2020. The analysis allows for the possibility of wage cuts mitigating job losses. Further extensions incorporate indirect effects due to reduced product demand from directly affected workers, as well as offsetting effects of a federal policy response. Predicted second-quarter layoffs and unemployment due to the pandemic vary throughout New England, and such adverse labor market effects tend to be somewhat smaller in the region than in the country as a whole. Additionally, official estimates of unemployment from available second-quarter data fall within the range of predictions, after accounting for plausible measurement error. This approach, which builds on the work of other recent analysis, should be helpful in estimating the regional labor market impact of future economic shocks.
    Keywords: COVID-19; wages; New England; labor costs; unemployment rates
    JEL: J30 I18 E24
    Date: 2020–06–29
  41. By: Georgy Egorov (Northwestern University–Kellogg School of Management and NBER); Ruben Enikolopov (New Economic School, ICREA-UPF, Barcelona IPEG, and Barcelona GSE); Alexey Makarin (EIEF and CEPR); Maria Petrova (ICREA-UPF, Barcelona IPEG, Barcelona GSE, and New Economic School)
    Abstract: Voluntary social distancing plays a vital role in containing the spread of the disease during a pandemic. As a public good, it should be more commonplace in more homogeneous and altruistic societies. However, for healthy people, observing social distancing has private benefits, too. If sick individuals are more likely to stay home, healthy ones have fewer incentives to do so, especially if the asymptomatic transmission is perceived to be unlikely. Theoretically, we show that this interplay may lead to a stricter observance of social distancing in more diverse and less altruistic societies. Empirically, we find that, consistent with the model, the reduction in mobility following the first local case of COVID-19 was stronger in Russian cities with higher ethnic fractionalization and cities with higher levels of xenophobia. For identification, we predict the timing of the first case using pre-existing patterns of internal migration to Moscow. Using SafeGraph data on mobility patterns, we confirm that mobility reduction in the United States was also higher in counties with higher ethnic fractionalization. Our findings highlight the importance of strategic incentives of different population groups for the effectiveness of public policy.
    Date: 2020
  42. By: Crowley, Frank; Daly, Hannah; Doran, Justin; Ryan, Geraldine
    Abstract: Since late 2019, COVID-19 has devastated the global economy, with indirect implications for the environment. As governments' prioritized health and implemented measures such as isolation, the closure of non-essential businesses and social distancing, many workers lost their jobs, were furloughed, or started working from home. Consequently, the world of work has drastically transformed and this period is likely to have major implications for mobility, transportation and the environment. We have estimated the variability of people to engage in remote work and social distancing using O*NET data and Irish Census data. We show that while those who commute by car have a relatively high potential for remote work, they are less likely to be able to engage in social distancing in their workplace. While this may be negative for employment prospects in the short run, this dynamic has the potential for positive environmental implications in the short and long run.
    Date: 2020
  43. By: Blit, Joel
    Abstract: Recent evidence for the U.S. suggests that recessions play a crucial role in promoting automation and the reallocation of productive resources, which in turn increase aggregate productivity and lead to a higher standard of living. I present evidence suggesting that the same is true in Canada. In particular, since the beginning of the information and communications technology revolution, fully all of the Canadian decline in routine job employment occurred during the three recessions. A similar dynamic is likely to transpire during the COVID crisis, and in fact is likely to be more pronounced due to the scale of the recession and the health-related incentives to automate. By constructing industry-level measures of worker exposure to COVID and the fraction of routine employment, I show that the retail, construction, manufacturing, wholesale, and transportation industries are likely to experience the biggest transformations. In these industries, government attempts to maintain the status quo will only delay the process of restructuring. Instead, policies should embrace change and support workers through the transition.
    Keywords: COVID-19,recessions,productivity,innovation,automation
    JEL: E32 J24 O38
    Date: 2020
  44. By: Mohamed Ali Marouani (UMR « Développement et Société », IEDES / Université Paris1-Panthéon-Sorbonne, PSL, IRD, LEDa, DIAL); Phuong Le Minh (UMR « Développement et Société », IRD and Université Paris1-Panthéon-Sorbonne)
    Abstract: While the Covid-19 pandemic had both health and economic e ects in rich countries, the first wave impacted many developing countries’ mainly through its economic and social consequences. The objective of this paper is to perform a first-round assessment of the potential consequences on workers using the Tunisian labor force survey. Three main factors of vulnerability are investigated, the inability to work from home, being part of a non essential industry and working for the private sector. We find that the most a ected are craftsmen, machine operators and elementary occupations in non-agricultural activities. The typically vulnerable worker is a young individual with low education, a man if self-employed and a woman with a temporary contract and lower earnings if wage-earner. When we take into account self-employed workers, the managers’ category becomes the most a ected among high and medium skill occupations. When we look at regional e ects, we unexpectedly find that the coastal regions (except the capital) are the most fragile. This is due to the fact that most of the manufacturing, tourism and international transport activities are located in coastal regions.
    Keywords: teleworking, employment, COVID-19, lockdown, vulnerability
    JEL: J22 J61 O30 R12 R32
    Date: 2020–06

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