nep-hea New Economics Papers
on Health Economics
Issue of 2020‒12‒14
24 papers chosen by
Nicolas R. Ziebarth
Cornell University

  1. Immigration Policy and Immigrants’ Sleep. Evidence from DACA. By Osea Giuntella; Jakub Lonsky; Fabrizio Mazzonna; Luca Stella
  2. Machine Predictions and Human Decisions with Variation in Payoffs and Skill By Michael Allan Ribers; Hannes Ullrich
  3. The Effects of Incentivizing Early Prenatal Care on Infant Health By Cygan-Rehm, Kamila; Karbownik, Krzysztof
  4. Mass shootings and Infant Health in the United States By Rakesh Banerjee; Tushar Bharati
  5. The effects of birth spacing on health and socioeconomic outcomes across the life course: evidence from the Utah Population Database By Kieron J. Barclay; Ken R. Smith
  6. Birth in Hard Times When You Belong To Minorities By Bertoli, Paola; Grembi, Veronica; Nguyen, The Linh Bao
  7. How Do Mass Shootings Affect Community Wellbeing? By Soni, Aparna; Tekin, Erdal
  8. Can Unearned Income Make Us Fitter? Evidence from Lottery Wins By Costa-Font, Joan; Gyori, Mario
  9. Elite structure and the provision of health-promoting public goods By Krieger, Tommy
  10. Menstrual Restrictions and Women's Health in Nepal By Rahul Kumar; Bipasha Maity
  11. Pension and Health Services Utilization: Evidence from Social Pension Expansion in China By Chen, Shanquan; Chen, Xi; Law, Stephen; Lucas, Henry; Tang, Shenlan; Long, Qian; Xue, Lei; Wang, Zheng
  12. Parental Gender Stereotypes and Student Wellbeing in China By Chu, Shuai; Zeng, Xiangquan; Zimmermann, Klaus F.
  13. Market Definition and Competition Policy Enforcement in the Pharmaceutical Industry By Georges Siotis; Carmine Ornaghi; Micael Castanheira De Moura
  14. The safest time to fly: Pandemic response in the era of Fox News By Maxim Ananyev; Michael Poyker; Yuan Tian
  15. The lived experience of COVID-19: housing and household resilience By Huang, Donna; Horne, Ralph; Willand, Nicola; Dorignon, Louise; Middha, Bhavna
  16. Unmet health care need and income-related horizontal equity in access during the COVID-19 pandemic By Davillas, Apostolos; Jones, Andrew M.
  17. Public Policy Lessons from the Covid-19 Outbreak: How to Deal with it in the Post-Pandemic World? By Syed Abul, Basher; A.K. Enamul, Haque
  18. Factsheet: The impact of the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown on adult New Zealanders' experiences of unwanted digital communications By Melhuish, Neil; Pacheco, Edgar
  19. Twin peaks: COVID-19 and the labour market By Jake Bradley; Alessandro Ruggieri; Adam Spencer
  20. Social contacts in the post-lockdown period By Ambra Poggi
  21. Covid-19 and a Green Recovery? By Aditya Goenka; Lin Liu; Nguyen, Manh-Hung
  22. The spread of COVID-19 in Germany: An application of the SIRDH model By Landsgesell, Lukas; Stadler, Manfred
  23. The Economic and Social Impact of the Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) on Migrant Remittances: An Overview of Tunisia and Morocco By Habib, Hajer
  24. Evaluating the effectiveness of policies against a pandemic By Alemán, Christian; Busch, Christopher; Ludwig, Alexander; Santaeulàlia-Llopis, Raül

  1. By: Osea Giuntella; Jakub Lonsky; Fabrizio Mazzonna; Luca Stella (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore; Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore)
    Abstract: Stress is associated with sleep problems and poor sleep is linked to mental health and depression symptoms. The stress associated with immigrant status and immigration policy can directly affect mental health. While previous studies have documented the significant relationship between immigration policy and the physical and mental health of immigrants, we know little about the effects of immigration policy on immigrants’ sleep patterns. Exploiting the approval of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in 2012, we study how immigrants’ sleep behavior responds to a change in immigration policy. Consistent with the findings of previous research documenting the positive effects of DACA on mental health, we find evidence of a significant improvement in immigrants’ sleep in response to this policy change. However, the estimated effects of the policy disappear rapidly after 2016. While temporary authorization programs such as DACA may have beneficial impacts on immigrants’ sleep in the short term, the effects of such temporary programs can be rapidly undermined by uncertainty about their future. Thus, permanent legalization programs may be more effective at achieving long-term effects, thereby eliminating uncertainty around the legal status of undocumented immigrants.
    Keywords: Immigration, Sleep, Mental health, DACA.
    JEL: J15 I10
    Date: 2020–12
  2. By: Michael Allan Ribers; Hannes Ullrich
    Abstract: Human decision-making differs due to variation in both incentives and available information. This constitutes a substantial challenge for the evaluation of whether and how machine learning predictions can improve decision outcomes. We propose a framework that incorporates machine learning on large-scale data into a choice model featuring heterogeneity in decision maker payoff functions and predictive skill. We apply this framework to the major health policy problem of improving the efficiency in antibiotic prescribing in primary care, one of the leading causes of antibiotic resistance. Our analysis reveals large variation in physicians' skill to diagnose bacterial infections and in how physicians trade off the externality inherent in antibiotic use against its curative benefit. Counterfactual policy simulations show that the combination of machine learning predictions with physician diagnostic skill results in a 25.4 percent reduction in prescribing and achieves the largest welfare gains compared to alternative policies for both estimated physician as well as conservative social planner preference weights on the antibiotic resistance externality.
    Date: 2020–11
  3. By: Cygan-Rehm, Kamila (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg); Karbownik, Krzysztof (Emory University)
    Abstract: We investigated the effects of the timing of early prenatal care on infant health by exploiting a reform that required expectant mothers to initiate prenatal care during the first ten weeks of gestation to obtain a one-time monetary transfer paid after childbirth. Applying a difference-in-differences design to individual-level data on the population of births and fetal deaths, we identified small but statistically significant positive effects of the policy on neonatal health. We further provide suggestive evidence that improved maternal health-related knowledge and behaviors during pregnancy are plausible channels through which the reform might have affected fetal health.
    Keywords: prenatal care, neonatal health, conditional cash transfers, prenatal care timing
    JEL: I12 I18 J13
    Date: 2020–11
  4. By: Rakesh Banerjee (University of Exeter Business School); Tushar Bharati (Economics Discipline, Business School, University of Western Australia)
    Abstract: We use the spatial and temporal variation in mass shooting incidents to show that babies born in a county have, on average, lower weight and gestational age at birth, and are more likely to be low birth weight (bw
    Keywords: mass shootings; infant mortality; birth weight; mental stress
    JEL: I10 I18 J10
    Date: 2020
  5. By: Kieron J. Barclay (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Ken R. Smith
    Abstract: The relationship between the length of birth intervals and child outcomes has received increased attention in recent years, but few studies have examined offspring outcomes across the life course in North America. In this study we examine the relationship between birth intervals and a range of short- and long-term outcomes, including preterm birth, low birth weight, infant mortality, college graduation, occupational attainment, and adult mortality, using data from the Utah Population Database (UPDB). To study infant outcomes we use data on cohorts born 1947--2016, to study educational and occupational outcomes we use data on cohorts born 1950--1980, and to study adult mortality we use data on cohorts born 1900--1949, with mortality outcomes followed until 2016. We use linear regression, linear probability models, and survival analysis, and compare the results from models with and without sibling comparisons. Children born after a birth interval of 9-12 months have a higher probability of low birth weight, preterm birth, and infant mortality both with and without sibling comparisons; longer intervals are further protective, but to a much less dramatic extent, and the protective effect of longer intervals against low birth weight and preterm birth was clearer in cohorts born before the 1990s. Based upon sibling comparison analyses, even the very shortest birth intervals do not negatively influence educational or occupational outcomes, nor long-term mortality. These findings suggest that extremely short birth intervals can increase the probability of poor perinatal outcomes, but that any such disadvantages disappear over the extended life course
    Keywords: Utah, adult mortality, birth intervals, education, infant mortality, socio-economic status
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2020
  6. By: Bertoli, Paola; Grembi, Veronica; Nguyen, The Linh Bao
    Abstract: Combining a unique dataset of birth records with municipal-level real estate infor- mation, we assess the impact of the 2008 recession on the health of immigrant newborns in Italy. Health at birth (e.g., low birth weight) of immigrants deteriorated more than health at birth of Italians. The negative effects on immigrants are not equally dis- tributed across ethnicities, but rather they are driven by the main economic activity of the ethnicity and its related network at the municipal level. Immigrants whose ethnicity is mainly employed in the sectors most affected during the recession, suffered the most. By contrast, the recession hardship is mitigated for immigrants in municipalities where their ethnic network is organized through more registered immigrant associations. The characteristics of ethnic groups and their organization at the municipal level do not explain the heterogeneous effects on Italian newborns and this confirms network rather than neighborhood effects.
    Keywords: Recessions,Immigrants,Low birth weight,Premature babies,Networks
    JEL: I1 I12 J15 J60
    Date: 2020
  7. By: Soni, Aparna (American University); Tekin, Erdal (American University)
    Abstract: Over the past four decades, more than 2,300 people have been the victims of mass shootings involving a firearm in the United States. Research shows that mass shootings have significant detrimental effects on the direct victims and their families. However, relatively little is known about the extent to which the impacts of these tragedies are transmitted into communities where they occur, and how they influence people beyond those directly affected. This study uses nationally representative data from the Gallup-Healthways survey to assess the spillover effects of mass shootings on community wellbeing and emotional health outcomes that capture community satisfaction, sense of safety, and levels of stress and worry. We leverage differences in the timing of mass shooting events across counties between 2008 and 2017. We find that mass shootings reduce both community wellbeing and emotional health. According to our results, a mass shooting is associated with a 27 percentage point decline in the likelihood of having excellent community wellbeing and a 13 percentage point decline in the likelihood of having excellent emotional health four weeks following the incident. The effects are stronger and longer lasting among individuals exposed to deadlier mass shootings. Furthermore, the reductions in wellbeing are greater for parents with children below age 18. Our findings suggest that mass shootings have significant societal costs and create negative spillover effects that extend beyond those immediately exposed.
    Keywords: mass shooting, gun, crime, violence, happiness, wellbeing, mental health, depression, homicide
    JEL: I12 I18 K42
    Date: 2020–11
  8. By: Costa-Font, Joan (London School of Economics); Gyori, Mario (London School of Economics)
    Abstract: Although lower income is associated with overweight (and obesity), such an association is explained by a number of other confounding effects such as omitted variables (e.g., time preferences) explaining that income effect on overweight. We study the effect of unearned income shocks resulting from a lottery win (windfall income) on both overweight (alongside obesity and body mass index) distribution. We draw upon longitudinal data from the United Kingdom, a country where about half of a population plays the lottery. Our results suggest no evidence of contemporaneous effects of income on overweight, but a significant lagged effect. We find a reduction in overweight 12 months after a lottery win. A 10,000-sterling win reduces overweight by 2-3 percentage points. Furthermore, we document a nonlinear effect up to 36 months after the lottery win, suggesting that small wins increase overweight and large wins reduce it. The effect of a lottery win varies depending on an individual's working hours and educational attainment. A lottery win among low education individuals decreases the risk of overweight.
    Keywords: obesity, overweight, income, windfall income, lottery wins, body mass index (BMI)
    JEL: I12 I18 J30
    Date: 2020–11
  9. By: Krieger, Tommy
    Abstract: We compile biographical information on more than 5,000 Prussian politicians and exploit newly digitized administrative data to examine whether landowning and landless elites differ in the extent to which they support health infrastructure projects. Using exogenous variation in soil texture, we present results from 2SLS regressions, suggesting that the provision of health-promoting public goods improves with the political influence of the landless elite. We also provide evidence for two mechanisms: first, landless elites face a higher risk of strikes, and second, they have more economic benefits from improving the health of the poor. Finally, we illustrate that the relevance of these two channels differs for those health-related public amenities that improve the access to medical care and those that prevent the outbreak of infectious diseases.
    Keywords: biographical data,distribution of power,health,land inequality,landowners,local elites,political power,Prussian history,public good provision,redistribution
    JEL: H11 H41 H75 I15 N33 O43 P16
    Date: 2020
  10. By: Rahul Kumar (Independent Researcher); Bipasha Maity (Ashoka University)
    Abstract: We study the impacts of the ritual of menstrual restrictions on women's healthcare utilization, acceptability of domestic violence and subjective well-being in Nepal. These restrictions, also practised around the time of childbirth, are based on the assumption that women are ritually impure during menstruation and childbirth. We use the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) for Nepal and apply binary regression and propensity score matching methods as well as investigate the implications of plausible omitted variable bias on our estimated treatment effect of menstrual restrictions. We find that women faced with menstrual restrictions are more likely to give birth at home and receive assistance from untrained individuals during childbirth, which increases the risk of maternal mortality. We also find lower usage of contraception in some specifications. Women subjected to these rituals are also found to have greater acceptability of domestic violence by their husbands. Lastly, we found lower subjective well-being among younger women who have been subjected to these restrictions, but this finding was statistically significant only when women faced the strictest restrictions during menstruation. These results indicate that menstrual restriction related rituals can have persistent negative implications on women's well-being that is not just limited to the time of menstruation. Thus, these practices are important impediments in achieving the sustainable development goals of gender equality and good health and well-being for all.
    Keywords: menstruation; Chhaupadi; health; mortality; women; Nepal
    Date: 2020–11
  11. By: Chen, Shanquan (University of Cambridge); Chen, Xi (Yale University); Law, Stephen (University of Sydney); Lucas, Henry (University of Sussex); Tang, Shenlan (Duke University); Long, Qian (Duke Kunshan University); Xue, Lei (Tsinghua University); Wang, Zheng (Tsinghua University)
    Abstract: The proportion of people aged 60 years or over is growing faster than other age groups. The well-being older adults depend heavily on their state of health. This study evaluates the effects of pensions on older adults' health service utilization, and estimates the size of pension required to influence such utilization. Using a nationally representative survey, the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS), we adopted a fuzzy regression discontinuity design and undertook segmented regression analysis. Pension demonstrated heterogeneous effects on health service utilization by income. We show that pension encouraged low-income individuals to use both outpatient (OR = 1.219, 95% 1.018-1.460) and inpatient services (OR = 1.269, 95% 1.020-1.579). In the meantime, it promoted self-treatment, specifically over-the-counter (OR = 1.208, 95% 1.037-1.407; OR = 1.206, 95% 1.024-1.419; respectively) and traditional Chinese medicines (OR = 1.452, 95% 1.094-1.932; OR = 1.456, 95% 1.079-1.955; respectively) among all income groups. However, receiving a pension had no effect on the frequency of outpatient or inpatient service use. Breakpoints for pension to promote health service utilization were mainly located in the range 55-95 CNY (7.1-12.3 EUR or 8.0-13.8 USD). Our study enriches the literature on pension and healthcare-seeking behaviour, and can be helpful in policy design and model formulation.
    Keywords: pension, health services utilization, regression discontinuity design, segmented regression
    JEL: I11 I18 J14 H55
    Date: 2020–11
  12. By: Chu, Shuai; Zeng, Xiangquan; Zimmermann, Klaus F.
    Abstract: Non-cognitive abilities are supposed to affect student's educational performance, who are challenged by parental expectations and norms. Parental gender stereotypes are shown to strongly decrease student wellbeing in China. Students are strongly more depressed, feeling blue, unhappy, not enjoying life and sad with no male-female differences while parental education does not matter.
    Keywords: Gender identity,gender stereotypes,student wellbeing,non-cognitive abilities,mental health,subjective wellbeing
    JEL: I12 I26 I31 J16
    Date: 2020
  13. By: Georges Siotis; Carmine Ornaghi; Micael Castanheira De Moura
    Abstract: We focus on market definition in the pharmaceutical industry, where the introduction of generics in different markets provide a sequence of quasi natural experiments involving a significant competitive shock for the molecule experiencing Loss of Exclusivity. We show that generic entry alters competitive constraints and generates market-wide effects. Paradoxically, entry may soften competitive pressure for some originators. We obtain these results by econometrically estimating time-varying price elasticities and apply the logic of the Hypothetical Monopolist Test to delineate antitrust markets. They provide strong empirical support to the approach consisting in defining relevant markets contingent on the theory of harm. We discuss the relevance of these findings in the context of ongoing cases.
    Keywords: market definition; competition policy; antitrust; pharmaceutical industry
    JEL: D22 I11 L13
    Date: 2020–12
  14. By: Maxim Ananyev; Michael Poyker; Yuan Tian
    Abstract: We document a causal effect of conservative Fox News Channel in the United States on physical distancing during COVID-19 pandemic. We measure county-level mobility covering all U.S. states and District of Columbia produced by GPS pings to 15-17 million smartphones and zip-code-level mobility using Facebook location data. Then, using the historical position of Fox News Channel in the cable lineup as the source of exogenous variation, we show that increased exposure to Fox News led to a smaller reduction in distance traveled and smaller increase in the probability to stay home after the national emergency declaration in the United States. Our results show that slanted media can have a harmful effect on containment efforts during a pandemic by affecting people’s behaviour.
    Keywords: mobility, media bias, Fox News, COVID-19
    Date: 2020
  15. By: Huang, Donna; Horne, Ralph; Willand, Nicola; Dorignon, Louise; Middha, Bhavna
    Abstract: This study investigated housing outcomes during the first three months of the COVID-19 pandemic, and evaluated the complex interrelated impacts it is having on Australian households with a range of vulnerabilities. COVID-19 has exacerbated vulnerabilities such as poor housing quality and location; housing affordability; energy poverty and a range of social, mental and physical health conditions.
    Date: 2020–11–19
  16. By: Davillas, Apostolos; Jones, Andrew M.
    Abstract: Using monthly data from the Understanding Society (UKHLS) COVID-19 Survey we analyse the evolution of unmet need and assess how the UK health care system performed against the norm of horizontal equity in health care access during the first wave of COVID-19 wave. Unmet need was most evident for hospital care, and less pronounced for primary health services (medical helplines, GP consultations, local pharmacist advice, over the counter medications and prescriptions). Despite this, there is no evidence that horizontal equity, with respect to income, was violated for NHS hospital outpatient and inpatient care during the first wave of the pandemic. There is evidence of pro-rich inequities in access to GP consultations, prescriptions and medical helplines at the peak of the first wave, but these were eliminated as the pandemic progressed. There are persistent pro-rich inequities for services that relate to individuals' ability to pay (over the counter medications and advice from the local pharmacist).
    Keywords: inequity,COVID-19,unmet need,health care,UKHLS
    JEL: C1 D63 I14
    Date: 2020
  17. By: Syed Abul, Basher; A.K. Enamul, Haque
    Abstract: Using cumulative confirmed cases of Covid-19 covering 163 countries, this paper tests several hypotheses that have received extensive attention in the popular media and academic research during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Our goal is to identify lessons for designing better public health policies in the post-pandemic era based on the past 6 months’ experiences of these 163 countries. Based on 2SLS regression, we derive the following lessons. First, providing universal health care is a significant public health strategy for countries to help deal with similar outbreaks in the future. Second, tackling air pollution is a win–win solution, not only for better preparedness against Covid-19 or other airborne diseases, but also for the environment and climate change. Third, lockdowns may help to reduce community spread but its impact on reducing Covid-19 incidence is not statistically significant. Similarly, antimalarial drugs have no significant effect on reducing the spread of the disease. Fourth, countries should encourage home-based work as much as possible until some treatment or cure is found for the virus. Fifth, the lessons of past SARS experience helped contain the spread of the infection in East Asian countries; other countries must adjust their social and cultural life to the new normal: wearing masks, washing hands, and keeping a distance from others in public places.
    Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic, Universal health care, Air pollution, Public policy
    JEL: I1 I18 Q53
    Date: 2020–11–25
  18. By: Melhuish, Neil; Pacheco, Edgar (Netsafe New Zealand)
    Abstract: In December 2019 an infectious coronavirus disease, commonly known as COVID-19, was identified in Wuhan, China. The disease spread rapidly and became a global pandemic. New Zealand’s first COVID-19 case was confirmed on 28 February 2020, after which the number of cases began to rise significantly, prompting the New Zealand Government to introduce a nationwide lockdown on 25 March 2020. This factsheet reports early findings from a quantitative study with adult New Zealanders. It explores how prevalent the experiences of unwanted digital communication were in the last 12 months, before, during, and just after the nationwide COVID 19 lockdown. This study found a higher prevalence of unwanted digital communications around the time of the nationwide lockdown. This study’s findings suggest that unexpected health and social events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and compulsory lockdown, are factors that can trigger changes in people’s experiences of online risk from unwanted digital communications.
    Date: 2020–11–21
  19. By: Jake Bradley; Alessandro Ruggieri; Adam Spencer
    Abstract: This paper develops a choice-theoretic equilibrium model of the laboUr market in the presence of a pandemic. It includes heterogeneity in productivity, age and the ability to work at home. Worker and firm behaviour changes in the presence of the virus, which itself has equilibrium consequences for the infection rate. The model is calibrated to the UK and counterfactual lockdown measures are evaluated. We find a different response in both the evolution of the virus and the labour market with different degrees of severity of lockdown. We use these insights to make a laboor market policy prescription to be used in conjunction with lockdown measures. Finally we find that, while the pandemicand ensuing policies impact the majority of the population negatively, consistent with recent studies, the costs are not borne equally. While the elderly face the highest health risks, it is the young low wage workers who suffer the most income and employment risk.
    Keywords: COVID-19; pandemic, labour market, worker and firm behavour
    Date: 2020
  20. By: Ambra Poggi
    Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has brought tighter restrictions on the daily lives of millions of people. In this paper, we investigate the effects of the pandemic on social contacts during the post-lockdown period in the UK. We find a negative correlation between social contacts and individual concerns for health risks and a new lockdown. We also find a substantial “inefficiency” in socialization in the post-lockdown period. These results support a scenario in which social contacts stay low for a long while, perhaps impacting negatively on wellbeing in the long run.
    Keywords: social contacts, COVID-19, count model, inefficiency
    JEL: Z13 D91 H12 I18 C13
    Date: 2020–12
  21. By: Aditya Goenka (University of Birmingham); Lin Liu (University of Liverpool); Nguyen, Manh-Hung (Toulouse School of Economics)
    Abstract: Preliminary evidence indicates that pollution increases severity and likelihood of Covid- 19 infections as is the for many other infectious diseases. This paper models the interaction of pollution and preventive actions on transmission of infectious diseases in a neoclassical growth framework where households do not take into account how their actions affects disease transmission and production activity results in pollution which increases likelihood of infections. Household can take private actions for abatement of pollution as for controlling disease transmission. Disease dynamics follow SIS dynamics. We study the difference in health and economic outcomes between the decentralized economy, where households do not internalize the externalities, and the socially optimal outcomes, and characterize the taxes and subsidies that will decentralize the socially optimal outcomes. Thus, we examine the question whether there are sufficient incentives to reduce pollution, both at the private and public levels, once its effects on disease transmission is taken into account.
    Keywords: Covid-19, pollution, environmental policy, infectious disease, Green Recovery, dynamic Pigovian taxes
    JEL: I15 Q53 H23 E22 C61
    Date: 2020–11
  22. By: Landsgesell, Lukas; Stadler, Manfred
    Abstract: The paper studies the current COVID-19 pandemic by applying an adapted epidemiologic model, where each individual is in one of the five states 'susceptible', 'infected', 'removed', 'immune healthy' or 'dead'. We extend the basic model with time-invariant transition rates between these states by allowing for time-dependent infection rates as a consequence of lockdowns and social distancing policies as well as for time-dependent mortality rates as a result of changing infection patterns. Our model proves to be appropriate to calibrate and simulate the dynamics of COVID-19 pandemic in Germany between January and October 2020. We provide deeper insights about some key indicators such as the reproduction number, the effectiveness of non-pharmaceutical interventions, and the development of the infection and mortality rates.
    Keywords: COVID-19,SIRDH model,health behavior
    JEL: I12 I18
    Date: 2020
  23. By: Habib, Hajer
    Abstract: The spread of the novel coronavirus and 'stay at home' measures in response to this global health crisis is profoundly changing societies and economies around the world. The objective of this work is to analyze the economic impact of Covid-19 by focusing on their implications on migrant remittances flows in Tunisia and Morocco. Indeed, we analyze in which countries, where individuals depend on remittances and where this dependence intersects with economic vulnerability and inadequate financial infrastructure. We use micro-data from the Afrobarometer survey, wave 2016-2018. Based on Principal Component Analysis (PCA), the results show that the decline in remittances will exacerbate economic difficulties during the crisis for individuals who depend on remittances. In Tunisia, 60% of individuals who say they are dependent on remittances are unemployed and 46% of those who say they are dependent on remittances face a lack of liquidity. In Morocco, 63% and 43%, respectively the share of individuals who say they are dependent on remittances are unemployed and the share with liquidity problems. Also, "stay at home" measures are likely to limit the ability of individuals to receive funds from abroad. Both countries have similar access to infrastructure, more than 46% of people who depend on remittances do not have a bank account and 37% do not have access to the internet. They would therefore be less able to adapt to a restriction on in-person remittance services during a lockdown to contain the Covid-19 virus. For this reason, the paradigm shift from cash to digital money is necessary.
    Keywords: Remittances,Covid-19,Economic vulnerability,Principal Component Analysis (PCA)
    JEL: F22 F24 O15 I10 R2
    Date: 2020
  24. By: Alemán, Christian; Busch, Christopher; Ludwig, Alexander; Santaeulàlia-Llopis, Raül
    Abstract: We develop a novel empirical approach to identify the effectiveness of policies against a pandemic. The essence of our approach is the insight that epidemic dynamics are best tracked over stages, rather than over time. We use a normalization procedure that makes the pre-policy paths of the epidemic identical across regions. The procedure uncovers regional variation in the stage of the epidemic at the time of policy implementation. This variation delivers clean identification of the policy effect based on the epidemic path of a leading region that serves as a counterfactual for other regions. We apply our method to evaluate the effectiveness of the nationwide stay-home policy enacted in Spain against the Covid-19 pandemic. We find that the policy saved 15:9% of lives relative to the number of deaths that would have occurred had it not been for the policy intervention. Its effectiveness evolves with the epidemic and is larger when implemented at earlier stages.
    Keywords: Macroeconomics,Pandemic,Stages,Covid-19,Stay-Home,Policy Effects,Identification
    JEL: E01 E22 E25
    Date: 2020

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