nep-hea New Economics Papers
on Health Economics
Issue of 2021‒02‒01
33 papers chosen by
Nicolas R. Ziebarth
Cornell University

  1. Income Inequality and Mortality: A Norwegian Perspective By Bütikofer, Aline; Karadakic, René; Salvanes, Kjell Gunnar
  2. Wealth Trajectories Across Key Milestones: Longitudinal Evidence from Life-Course Transitions By Gopi Shah Goda; Jialu Liu Streeter
  3. Adverse Life Events and Intergenerational Transfers. By Jessamyn Schaller; Chase Eck
  4. Where There's Smoke...: The Wage Impact of Smoking By Michael Darden; Julie L. Hotchkiss; M. Melinda Pitts
  5. Long-term effects of female teacher on her pupils' smoking behaviour later in life By Eiji Yamamura
  6. How do Physicians Respond to Malpractice Allegations? Evidence from Florida Emergency Departments By Caitlin Carroll; David M. Cutler; Anupam Jena
  7. Family Spillover Effects of Marginal Diagnoses: The Case of ADHD By Petra Persson; Xinyao Qiu; Maya Rossin-Slater
  8. Post-conception heat exposure increases clinically unobserved pregnancy losses By Tamás Hajdu; Gábor Hajdu
  9. Price Indices and the Value of Innovation with Heterogenous Patients By Claudio Lucarelli; Sean Nicholson; Nicholas Tilipman
  10. Performance Analysis of Hospitals in Australia and its Peers: A Systematic Review By Zhichao Wang; Valentin Zelenyuk
  11. Robots and Labor in the Service Sector: Evidence from Nursing Homes By Karen Eggleston ⓡ; Yong Suk Lee ⓡ; Toshiaki Iizuka
  12. Quality adjusted life years based on health and consumption: a summary wellbeing measure for cross‐sectoral economic evaluation By Cookson, Richard; Skarda, Ieva; Cotton-Barratt, Owen; Adler, Matthew; Asaria, Miqdad; Ord, Toby
  13. Estimates of multidimensional poverty for India using NSSO-71 and -75 By Venugopal Mothkoor; Nina Badgaiyan
  14. On a Japanese Subjective Well-Being Indicator Based on Twitter data By Tiziana Carpi; Airo Hino; Stefano Maria Iacus; Giuseppe Porro
  15. Unemployment and subjective well-being By Suppa, Nicolai
  16. Natural Disasters and Early Human Development: Hurricane Catarina and Infant Health in Brazil By Victor Hugo de Oliveira; Ines Lee; Climent Quintana-Domeque
  17. Accommodating Employees with Disabilities: The Role of Flexible Employment Schemes in Europe By Giovanis, Eleftherios; Ozdamar, Oznur
  18. Health Knowledge and Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Africa By Anne E. Fitzpatrick; Sabrin A. Beg; Laura C. Derksen; Anne Karing; Jason T. Kerwin; Adrienne Lucas; Natalia Ordaz Reynoso; Munir Squires
  19. The Psychological Burden of the COVID-19 Pandemic Severity By Le, Kien; Nguyen, My
  20. The first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on socioeconomic inequality in psychological distress in the UK By Davillas, A.; Jones, A.M.
  21. Walking the tightrope: avoiding a lockdown while containing the virus By Balázs Egert; Yvan Guillemette; Fabrice Murtin; David Turner
  22. The dynamic effects of infectious disease outbreaks: the case of pandemic influenza and human coronavirus By Verikios, George
  23. Testing as an Approach to Control the Corona Epidemic Dynamics and Avoid Lockdowns By Thomas Gries; Paul J.J. Welfens
  24. Informing the public about a pandemic By Francis de Véricourt,; Huseyin Gurkan,; Shouqiang Wang,
  26. Planning health care capacities with a gravity equation By Wende, Danny; Kopetsch, Thomas; Richter, Wolfram F.
  27. Democracy and COVID-19 Outcomes By Karabulut, Gokhan; Zimmermann, Klaus F.; Bilgin, Mehmet Huseyin; Doker, Asli Cansin
  28. Unemployment Insurance during a Pandemic By Lei Fang; Jun Nie; Zoe Xie
  29. COVID-19 International Evidence: Some Notable Puzzles By Federico S. Mandelman
  30. Partial lockdown and the spread of Covid-19: lessons from the Italian case By de Porto, Edoardo; Naticchioni, Paolo; Scrutinio, Vincenzo
  31. Four Stylized Facts about COVID-19 By Andrew Atkeson; Karen A. Kopecky; Tao Zha
  32. Motivated beliefs and the elderly's compliance with Covid-19 measures By von Siemens, Ferdinand
  33. Knowledge, Attitude and Acceptance of a COVID-19 Vaccine: A Global Cross-Sectional Study By Kazi Abdul, Mannan; Khandaker Mursheda, Farhana

  1. By: Bütikofer, Aline (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration); Karadakic, René (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration); Salvanes, Kjell Gunnar (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)
    Abstract: While Norway has experienced income growth accompanied by a large decline in mortality during the past several decades, little is known about the distribution of these improvements in longevity across the income distribution. Using municipalitylevel income and mortality data, we show that the stark income gradient in infant mortality across municipalities in the 1950s mostly closed in the late 1960s. However, the income gradient in mortality for older age categories across municipalities persisted until 2010 and only flattened thereafter. Further, the infant mortality gap between rich and poor Norwegian families based on individual-level data persisted several decades longer than the gap between rich and poor municipalities and only finally closed in the early 21st century.
    Keywords: Mortality; Income Inequality
    JEL: I00
    Date: 2021–01–25
  2. By: Gopi Shah Goda; Jialu Liu Streeter
    Abstract: Wealth varies considerably across the population and changes significantly over the lifecycle. In this paper, we trace out trajectories of wealth across several key life milestones, including marriage, homeownership, childbirth, divorce, disability, health shocks, retirement and widowhood using multiple decades of longitudinal panel data. We estimate both changes over the ten-year period before and after each milestone and assess whether those changes occur gradually or sharply after the milestone. We find evidence of significant long-run increases in wealth associated with homeownership and retirement, and significant long-run reductions in wealth associated with divorce, health shocks, and disability. In general, these changes appear to occur gradually rather than immediately after the milestone. Our results also indicate a large degree of heterogeneity across demographics, socioeconomic status and risk protection from insurance. In particular, those with lower levels of socioeconomic status and those without access to risk protection experience smaller wealth gains (or larger wealth losses) following life-course transitions. These results identify populations and life stages where individuals are most vulnerable to large reductions in wealth.
    JEL: G51 I13 J1
    Date: 2021–01
  3. By: Jessamyn Schaller (Claremont McKenna College, Robert Day School of Economics); Chase Eck (University of Arizona, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: While there has been broad interest in the direct effects of major life events on older households that experience them, little attention has been paid to the intergenerational transmission of those effects— how negative shocks in parents’ households affect the outcomes of their adult children—or to the role that grown children play in helping their parents recover from adverse events. We use regression and event study approaches to examine within-family changes in monetary transfers and informal care following wealth loss, involuntary job displacement, spousal death, and health shocks in retirement-aged households. We find that giving to adult children is responsive to changes in parents’ wealth and earned income. We document large reductions in the likelihood of making financial transfers to children following wealth loss and job displacement, particularly in households with low accumulated wealth. We also find that parents increase their transfers following spousal death and reduce them with the onset of disability or poor health. We find that upstream transfers are also responsive to life events— children, particularly those with low-wealth parents, increase their financial transfers and in-kind assistance following adverse shocks in their parents’ households.
    Keywords: intergenerational transfers, health, job loss, divorce
    JEL: D64 I10 J63 J12
    Date: 2019–10
  4. By: Michael Darden; Julie L. Hotchkiss; M. Melinda Pitts
    Abstract: Cigarette smokers earn significantly less than nonsmokers, but the magnitude of the smoking wage gap and the pathways by which it originates are unclear. While most research focuses on contemporaneous reasons for the wage differential, the research described in this Policy Hub article finds that decisions made early in life—about education, labor force participation, and occupation—contribute significantly to the wage penalty smokers face later, especially for men. Women are found to be judged more harshly by their current employers for their smoking behavior, and since quitting smoking doesn't entirely erase the impact of early decisions, early intervention is imperative to avoid the negative wage impacts.
    Keywords: wages; smoking; dynamic system of equations; NLSY
    JEL: I10 I12
    Date: 2020–10–08
  5. By: Eiji Yamamura
    Abstract: In Japan, teacher and student is randomly matched in the first year of elementary school. Under the quasi-natural experimental setting, we examine how learning in female teacher homeroom class in the elementary school influence pupils' smoking behavior after they become adult. We found that pupils are unlikely to smoke later in life if they belonged to female teacher homeroom class in pupil's first year of school.
    Date: 2021–01
  6. By: Caitlin Carroll; David M. Cutler; Anupam Jena
    Abstract: A substantial literature has studied the influence of malpractice pressure on physician behavior. However, these studies generally focus on malpractice pressure stemming from state laws that govern liability exposure, which may be unknown or not salient to physicians. We test how physicians respond to malpractice allegations made directly against them. Our sample is Emergency Department physicians in Florida, where we have the universe of data on patients and how they are treated along with a census of malpractice complaints. We find that physicians oversee 9% fewer discharges after malpractice allegations and treat each discharge 4% more expensively after an allegation. These effects are true for both allegations that result in money paid and allegations which are dropped. Further, the increase in treatment is generalized, i.e., not limited to patients with conditions similar to what the physician is reported for. The results suggest significant, if modest, impacts of malpractice claims on medical practice.
    JEL: I11 J44 K41
    Date: 2021–01
  7. By: Petra Persson; Xinyao Qiu; Maya Rossin-Slater
    Abstract: The health care system commonly relies on information about family medical history in the allocation of screenings and in diagnostic processes. At the same time, an emerging literature documents that treatment for “marginally diagnosed” patients often has minimal impacts. This paper shows that reliance on information about relatives' health can perpetuate marginal diagnoses across family members, thereby raising caseloads and health care costs, but without improving patient well-being. We study Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), the most common childhood mental health condition, and document that the younger siblings and cousins of marginally diagnosed children are also more likely to be diagnosed with and treated for ADHD. Moreover, we find that the younger relatives of marginally diagnosed children have no better adult human capital and economic outcomes than the younger relatives of those who are less likely to be diagnosed. Our analysis points to a simple adjustment to physician protocol that can mitigate these marginal diagnosis spillovers.
    JEL: I14 I18 J13
    Date: 2021–01
  8. 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: Evidence of the relationship between temperature during pregnancy and human embryo mortality is limited. Most importantly, the literature lacks causal estimations and studies on early pregnancy losses. Here, we estimate the impact of early pregnancy temperature exposure on the clinically unobserved pregnancy loss rate. We use administrative data of clinically observed pregnancies from more than three decades for Hungary. We apply an empirical approach that allows us to infer the impact of temperature on the clinically unobserved pregnancy loss rate from the estimated effects on the clinically observed conception rate. The results show that exposure to hot temperatures during the first few weeks after the conception week increases the clinically unobserved pregnancy loss rate, whereas exposure to colder temperatures seems to decrease it. Importantly, the temperature-induced changes represent changes in the total number of pregnancy losses rather than a compositional change between clinically observed and clinically unobserved pregnancy losses.
    Keywords: pregnancy loss; early pregnancy; temperature; climate change; Hungary
    JEL: I10 J13 Q54
    Date: 2021–01
  9. By: Claudio Lucarelli; Sean Nicholson; Nicholas Tilipman
    Abstract: Many countries use uniform cost-effectiveness criteria to determine whether to adopt a new medical technology for the entire population. This approach assumes homogeneous preferences for expected health benefits and side effects. We examine whether new prescription drugs generate welfare gains when accounting for heterogeneous preferences by constructing quality- adjusted price indices for colorectal cancer drug treatments. We find that while the efficacy gains from newer drugs do not justify high prices for the population as a whole, innovation improves the welfare of sicker, late-stage cancer patients. A uniform evaluation criterion would not permit these innovations despite welfare gains to a subpopulation.
    JEL: I11 I31 L00
    Date: 2021–01
  10. By: Zhichao Wang (School of Economics and Centre for Efficiency and Productivity Analysis (CEPA) at The University of Queensland, Australia); Valentin Zelenyuk (School of Economics and Centre for Efficiency and Productivity Analysis (CEPA) at The University of Queensland, Australia)
    Abstract: Research about the productivity and efficiency of hospitals in providing healthcare services has developed substantially in the last few decades. How does this topic proceed in Australia, its peer countries and regions who share a similar healthcare system? In this article, we conduct a systematic review and a series of bibliometric analyses of the research about the efficiency of hospitals, which are the core organizations in the the healthcare system, in order to obtain a broad perspective of this topic in Australia and its peers. Among others, a random forests model was trained to evaluate the impact of features of an article on the scientific influence of the research. We used bibliometric data in Scopus from 1970 to 2020 and extracted the review pool by a peer-review process. Besides identifying the productive authors and most cited publication sources, the bibliometric analysis also indicated a shifting of topics over time. Through the training process of the random forests classification model, the most influential features of an article were also identified.
    Keywords: Performance analysis, efficiency, Australia, hospital, systematic review, bibliometric analysis, random forests, machine learning
    JEL: C14 C61 D24 I11
    Date: 2021–01
  11. By: Karen Eggleston ⓡ; Yong Suk Lee ⓡ; Toshiaki Iizuka
    Abstract: In one of the first studies of service sector robotics using establishment-level data, we study the impact of robots on staffing in Japanese nursing homes, using geographic variation in robot subsidies as an instrumental variable. We find that robot adoption increases employment by augmenting the number of care workers and nurses on flexible employment contracts, and decreases difficulty in staff retention. Robot adoption also reduces the monthly wages of regular nurses, consistent with reduced burden of care. Our findings suggest that the impact of robots may not be detrimental to labor and may remedy challenges posed by rapidly aging populations.
    JEL: I11 J14 J23 O30
    Date: 2021–01
  12. By: Cookson, Richard; Skarda, Ieva; Cotton-Barratt, Owen; Adler, Matthew; Asaria, Miqdad; Ord, Toby
    Abstract: We introduce a summary wellbeing measure for economic evaluation of cross‐sectoral public policies with impacts on health and living standards. We show how to calculate period‐specific and lifetime wellbeing using quality‐adjusted life years based on widely available data on health‐related quality of life and consumption and normative assumptions about three parameters—minimal consumption, standard consumption, and the elasticity of the marginal value of consumption. We also illustrate how these three parameters can be tailored to the decision‐making context and varied in sensitivity analysis to provide information about the implications of alternative value judgments. As well as providing a general measure for cost‐effectiveness analysis and cost‐benefit analysis in terms of wellbeing, this approach also facilitates distributional analysis in terms of how many good years different population subgroups can expect to live under different policy scenarios.
    Keywords: cost effective; health; QALY; quality of life; wellbeing; SRF-2013-06-015; 205427/Z/16/Z
    JEL: N0
    Date: 2021–01–01
  13. By: Venugopal Mothkoor; Nina Badgaiyan
    Abstract: We measure multidimensional poverty in India using National Sample Survey Organization data from 2014-15 to 2017-18. We use income, health, education, and standard of living to measure the multidimensional poverty index (MPI). The MPI headcount declined from 26.9 to 13.75 per cent over the study period. The all-India estimates indicate that 144 million people were lifted from poverty during this period. We include different health dimensions, factoring in insurance, institutional coverage, antenatal care, and chronic conditions.
    Keywords: multidimensional poverty index, Income, Poverty, India, Deprivation, rural, Urban, COVID-19
    Date: 2021
  14. By: Tiziana Carpi; Airo Hino; Stefano Maria Iacus; Giuseppe Porro
    Abstract: This study presents for the first time the SWB-J index, a subjective well-being indicator for Japan based on Twitter data. The index is composed by eight dimensions of subjective well-being and is estimated relying on Twitter data by using human supervised sentiment analysis. The index is then compared with the analogous SWB-I index for Italy, in order to verify possible analogies and cultural differences. Further, through structural equation models, a causal assumption is tested to see whether the economic and health conditions of the country influence the well-being latent variable and how this latent dimension affects the SWB-J and SWB-I indicators. It turns out that, as expected, the economic and health welfare is only one aspect of the multidimensional well-being that is captured by the Twitter-based indicator.
    Date: 2020–12
  15. By: Suppa, Nicolai
    Abstract: This chapter summarizes the latest state of the art in economic research on unemployment and subjective well-being. Outcomes covered are general life satisfaction, affective well-being, and mental health. Special attention is paid to empirical evidence as obtained from popular panel data sets. Both prominent methodological issues and substantive themes are introduced. Topics covered include the estimation of non-pecuniary costs of unemployment, unemployment over time, the role of others' unemployment, spill-over effects, and re-employment, among others.
    Keywords: unemployment,subjective well-being,life satisfaction,happiness,mental health
    JEL: I31 J60
    Date: 2021
  16. By: Victor Hugo de Oliveira (Instituto de Pesquisa e Estratégia Económica do Ceará); Ines Lee (University of Cambridge); Climent Quintana-Domeque (University of Exeter)
    Abstract: We study the impacts of in utero exposure to Hurricane Catarina of March 2004, the first hurricane to hit Brazil. Catarina was unexpected and is representative of other recent hurricanes in the Americas in terms of wind speed, direct economic costs, and population affected. We use a triple differences strategy (close vs. far municipality, 2004 vs. 2003, after March vs. before) to highlight the importance of accounting for flexible season of birth effects compared to a standard differences-in-differences strategy. Using administrative data, we find that average birth weight declined and post-neonatal mortality increased among babies exposed to the hurricane in utero. The adverse effects are driven by babies of younger mothers. Our documented impacts are not explained by reductions in employment or healthcare use. Maternal stress seems to be a plausible mechanism if younger women are more financially vulnerable to negative shocks, consistent with recent work highlighting the relationship between socioeconomic status, stress, and birth outcomes. Our findings are robust to various checks, including testing for pre-trends in infant health outcomes.
    Keywords: in utero shocks, infant health, birth weight, fetal mortality, infant mortality, healthcare use
    JEL: I10 I12 J13 Q54
    Date: 2021–01
  17. By: Giovanis, Eleftherios; Ozdamar, Oznur
    Abstract: Over the past 30 years, the workplace has witnessed significant changes. The fast growth in the use of information technology, changes in working hours and agreements radically changed the nature of job. One such change is the flexible employment schemes, which can provide alternatives for employees with disabilities, giving incentives to increase their productivity and their job satisfaction. The aim of this study is to examine the impact of those schemes on job satisfaction, job quality and absenteeism in this group of people. Furthermore, the objective is to explore the role of flexible employment to carers of disabled people. The empirical analysis relies on the European Working Conditions Survey over the period 2000-2015. The results show a positive impact on both disabled workers and carers’ job satisfaction and lower incidence of absenteeism at work. The policy recommendations and implications are further discussed.
    Keywords: Disability; European Working Conditions Survey; Flexible Employment Schemes; Flexi-Time; Health Conditions; Homework; Job Quality; Job Satisfaction; Teleworking; Wage Gap
    JEL: I14 I18 J22 J24 J28
    Date: 2019–08
  18. By: Anne E. Fitzpatrick; Sabrin A. Beg; Laura C. Derksen; Anne Karing; Jason T. Kerwin; Adrienne Lucas; Natalia Ordaz Reynoso; Munir Squires
    Abstract: Providing health information is a non-pharmaceutical intervention designed to reduce disease transmission and infection risk by encouraging behavior change. But does knowledge change behavior? We test whether coronavirus health knowledge promotes protective risk mitigation behaviors early in the COVID-19 pandemic across four African countries (Ghana, Malawi, Sierra Leone, and Tanzania). Despite reputations for weak health sectors and low average levels of education, health knowledge of the symptoms and transmission mechanisms was high in all countries in the two months after the virus entered the country. Higher knowledge is associated with increased protective measures that would likely lower disease risk with one exception–knowledge is inversely correlated with social distancing. Respondents largely adhered to mask mandates and lockdowns, but continued coming into contact with others at small, informal gatherings, gatherings not affected by mandates. Knowledge alone appears unlikely to reduce all risky activities, especially gatherings within other people's homes. Even early in the pandemic income loss or stress were commonly reported. Our results suggest that early and consistent government provision of health information, likely reduced the severity of the pandemic in Africa but was not a panacea.
    JEL: I12 I15 I18 O12
    Date: 2021–01
  19. By: Le, Kien; Nguyen, My
    Abstract: The alarming levels of spread and severity of COVID-19 have dominated global attention. In this time of crisis, there is an urgent need for studies identifying the linkages between the pandemic and social welfare. To help policymakers respond to the situation better, we investigate how the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic can condition people’s psychological well-being. Employing the latest weekly panel data within an individual fixed effects framework, we uncover the damaging consequences of the COVID-19 severity, as measured by mortality rate, on the incidences of daily anxiety, worry, displeasure, and depression in the United States. Our work underlines the importance of public spending on mental health, both during and after the pandemic.
    Keywords: COVID-19, mortality rate, psychological consequences, mental health
    JEL: I0 I12 I14 I18
    Date: 2020
  20. By: Davillas, A.; Jones, A.M.
    Abstract: We use data from the UK Household Longitudinal Study (UKHLS) to compare measures of socioeconomic inequality in psychological distress, measured by the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ), before (Waves 9 and the Interim 2019 Wave) and during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic (April to July 2020). Based on a caseness measure, the prevalence of psychological distress increased from 18.5% to 27.7% between the 2019 Wave and April 2020 with some reversion to earlier levels in subsequent months. Also, there was a systematic increase in total inequality in the Likert GHQ-12 score. However, measures of relative socioeconomic inequality have not increased. A Shapley-Shorrocks decomposition analysis shows that during the peak of the first wave of the pandemic (April 2020) other socioeconomic factors declined in their share of socioeconomic inequality, while age and gender account for a larger share. The most notable increase is evident for younger women. The contribution of working in an industry related to the COVID-19 response played a small role at Wave 9 and the Interim 2019 Wave, but more than tripled its share in April 2020. As the first wave of COVID-19 progressed, the contribution of demographics declined from their peak level in April and chronic health conditions, housing conditions, and neighbourhood characteristics increased their contributions to socioeconomic inequality.
    Keywords: COVID-19; health equity; socioeconomic inequality; GHQ; mental health; psychological distress
    JEL: C1 D63 I12 I14
    Date: 2021–01
  21. By: Balázs Egert; Yvan Guillemette; Fabrice Murtin; David Turner
    Abstract: Empirical work described in this paper explains the daily evolution of the reproduction rate, R, and mobility for a large sample of countries, in terms of containment and public health policies. This is with a view to providing insight into the appropriate policy stance as countries prepare for a potentially protracted period characterised by new infection waves. While a comprehensive package of containment measures may be necessary when the virus is widespread and can have a large effect on reducing R, they also have effect on mobility and, by extension, economic activity. A wide-ranging package of public health policies – with an emphasis on comprehensive testing, tracing and isolation, but also including mask-wearing and policies directed at vulnerable groups, especially those in care homes – offer the best approach to avoiding a full lockdown while containing the spread of the virus. Such policies may, however, need to be complemented by selective containment measures (such as restricting large public events and international travel or localised lockdowns) both to contain local outbreaks and because implementing some of the recommended public health policies may be difficult to achieve or have unacceptable social costs.
    Keywords: Covid-19, lockdown, non-pharmaceutical interventions, mobility
    JEL: C50 H10 H12 I18
    Date: 2021
  22. By: Verikios, George
    Abstract: Pandemic influenza is a regularly recurring form of infectious disease; this work analyses its economic effects. Like many other infectious diseases influenza pandemics are usually of short, sharp duration. Human coronavirus is a less regularly recurring infectious disease. The human coronavirus pandemic of 2019 (COVID-19) has pre-sented with seemingly high transmissibility and led to extraordinary socioeconomic disruption due to severe preventative measures by governments. To understand and compare these events, epidemiological and economic models are linked to capture the transmission of a pandemic from regional populations to regional economies and then across regional economies. In contrast to past pandemics, COVID-19 is likely to be of longer duration and more severe in its economic effects given the greater uncertainty surrounding its nature. The analysis in-dicates how economies are likely to be affected due to the risk-modifying behaviour in the form of preventative measures taken in response to the latest novel pandemic virus.
    Keywords: Computable general equilibrium; Human coronavirus; COVID-19; Infectious diseases; Pandemic influenza; Periodicity; Trade linkages
    JEL: C68 E32 F15 I18
    Date: 2020–06
  23. By: Thomas Gries (University of Paderborn); Paul J.J. Welfens (Europäisches Institut für Internationale Wirtschaftsbeziehungen (EIIW))
    Abstract: Vaccinations, lockdowns and testing strategies are three potential elements of an effective anti-coronavirus, and in particular Covid-19, health policy. The following analysis considers - within a simple model - the potentially crucial role of a Corona testing approach in combination with a quarantine approach which is shown herein to be a substitute for broad lockdown measures. The cost of lockdowns/shutdowns are rather high so that - beyond progress in terms of a broad vaccination program - a rational testing strategy should also be carefully considered. Testing has to be organized on the basis of an adequate testing infrastructure which could largely be implemented in firms, schools, universities and public administration settings. As regards the cost of a systematic broad Covid-19 testing strategy, these could come close to 0.5 percent of national income if there are no vaccinations. The Testing & Quarantine approach suggested here - with tests for symptomatic as well as asymptomatic people - is based on a random sampling and would require rather broad and frequent testing; possibly one test per person every 7-10 days. At the same time, one should consider that the cost of further lockdowns/shutdowns of a duration of one month could be very high, such that a standard cost benefit analysis supports the testing approach suggested herein. Also, an optimal policy mix could be designed where both vaccinations and testing play a crucial role. As of late January 2021, no further lockdowns in Germany and other OECD countries would be necessary if a broad testing infrastructure can be established rather quickly. This in turn will reinforce economic optimism and help to jumpstart economic growth in Europe, the US and Asia in a solid way. The basic logic of the testing approach pointed out here for industrialized countries could also be applied in developing countries. The approach presented is complementary to the IMF analysis of Cherif/Hasanov.
    Keywords: Corona testing, epidemic, lockdowns, cost pandemic response, world economy
    JEL: H12 H51 I10 I18
    Date: 2021–01
  24. By: Francis de Véricourt, (ESMT European School of Management and Technology); Huseyin Gurkan, (ESMT European School of Management and Technology); Shouqiang Wang, (Naveen Jindal School of Management, The University of Texas at Dallas)
    Abstract: This paper explores how governments may efficiently inform the public about an epidemic to induce compliance with their confinement measures. Using an information design framework, we find the government has an incentive to either downplay or exaggerate the severity of the epidemic if it heavily prioritizes the economy over population health or vice versa. Importantly, we find that the level of economic inequality in the population has an effect on these distortions. The more unequal the disease's economic impact on the population is, the less the government exaggerates and the more it downplays the severity of the epidemic. When the government weighs the economy and population health sufficiently equally, however, the government should always be fully transparent about the severity of the epidemic.
    Keywords: Public health, epidemic control, information design, strategic behavior
    Date: 2020–12–15
  25. By: Gilles Paché (CRET-LOG - Centre de Recherche sur le Transport et la Logistique - AMU - Aix Marseille Université)
    Abstract: The coronavirus crisis of 2020 has highlighted the fragility of many traditional economic sectors, but also of activities belonging to the field of the collaborative economy. This is particularly true for delivery platforms, which are a component of the "gig economy." At the worst moment of the COVID-19 pandemic, gig workers acting as independent microentrepreneurs for the platforms continued to deliver meals and parcels, despite significant health risks. Once the crisis was over, the European political authorities took drastic social (physical) distancing measures to avoid a second wave of contamination. These measures threaten the model of delivery platforms because gig workers are naturally in direct contact with consumers at home or at work. The new world resulting from the coronavirus crisis could lead to the privileged use of supply chain professionals, and therefore deeply transform the fundamentals of the delivery platform model.
    Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic,Delivery platform,Europe,Gig economy,Logistics,Social (physical) distancing
    Date: 2020–12
  26. By: Wende, Danny; Kopetsch, Thomas; Richter, Wolfram F.
    Abstract: The planning of health care capacities is in practice constrained by sectoral and regional boundaries and it remains difficult to ensure an adequate and even access to health care. Moreover, standard planning approaches lack the choice-theoretic grounding necessary for making reliable statements about the demand for health care. This paper presents a model based on the idea of gravity in supply and demand linkages and designed to overcome such shortcomings. Empirical estimation equations are derived for the size of catchment areas, the spatial access to health care and the demand for specialist treatment. The floating catchment area (FCA) method commonly used to measure access to care is shown to be a special, yet often misleading case. This is demonstrated by the example of Germany, where rural areas are shown to suffer from access deficits.
    Keywords: Health care capacity planning,choice-theoretic foundation,gravity equation,spatial multiple equation model
    JEL: H72 I18 D58 C3
    Date: 2020
  27. By: Karabulut, Gokhan; Zimmermann, Klaus F.; Bilgin, Mehmet Huseyin; Doker, Asli Cansin
    Abstract: More democratic countries are often expected to fail at providing a fast, strong, and effective response when facing a crisis such as COVID-19. This could result in higher infections and more negative health effects, but hard evidence to prove this claim is missing for the new disease. Studying the association with five different democracy measures, this study shows that while the infection rates of the disease do indeed appear to be higher for more democratic countries so far, their observed case fatality rates are lower. There is also a negative association between case fatality rates and government attempts to censormedia. However, such censorship relates positively to the infection rate.
    Keywords: Democracy,COVID-19,Coronavirus,Pandemic,Lockdown,Media Censoring
    JEL: D72 C30 P16 I19
    Date: 2021
  28. By: Lei Fang; Jun Nie; Zoe Xie
    Abstract: The CARES Act implemented in response to the COVID-19 crisis dramatically increases the generosity of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, triggering concerns about its substantial impact on unemployment. This paper combines a labor market search-matching model with the SIR-type infection dynamics to study the effects of CARES UI on both unemployment and infection. More generous UI policies create work disincentives and lead to higher unemployment, but they also reduce infection and save lives. Shutdown policies and infection risk further amplify these effects of UI policies. Quantitatively, the CARES UI policies raise average unemployment by 3.8 percentage points out of a total expected increase of 11 percentage points over April to December 2020 but also reduce cumulative deaths by 4.9 percent. Eligibility expansion and the extra $600 increase in benefit levels are both important for the effects.
    Keywords: COVID-19; CARES Act; unemployment insurance; search and matching
    JEL: J64 J65 E24
    Date: 2020–07–31
  29. By: Federico S. Mandelman
    Abstract: This article uses international evidence to argue that we still have limited knowledge about the efficacy of widely used preventive actions, such as social distancing and face masks, in containing the spread of the novel COVID-19 virus. I document three puzzles. One, Peru enacted unprecedented lockdowns early in the pandemic, which led to a record contraction in economic activity. The country’s residents also adopted near-universal face mask usage. None of these actions, however, prevented Peru from experiencing the world’s highest per capita mortality rate from the virus. Second, southeast Asian countries practically did not register cases despite being closely interconnected to the source of the virus and adopting rather lax viruscontainment policies. Third, sub-Saharan African countries were largely spared from the virus, despite being considered very high-risk countries at the onset of the pandemic. I also discuss some emerging hypotheses that could explain these puzzles. Rather than rebuffing proven preventive actions like social distancing and face mask usage, this article highlights the limited knowledge we still have on this novel disease.
    Keywords: COVID-19
    JEL: E19 I19
    Date: 2020–12–04
  30. By: de Porto, Edoardo; Naticchioni, Paolo; Scrutinio, Vincenzo
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effect of exemption of essential sectors from the lockdown enacted in Italy in Spring 2020 on COVID-19 infections and mortality. We exploit the distribution of the density of essential workers across provinces and rich administrative data in a difference in difference framework. We find that a standard deviation increase in essential workers per square kilometre leads to about 1.1 additional daily registered cases per 100,000 inhabitants. In addition, we show that a similar change in density leads to 0.32 additional daily deaths per 100,000 inhabitants. Back of envelope computations suggest that about one third of the Covid-19 cases in the period considered could be attributed to the less stringent lockdown for essential sectors as well as about 13,000 additional deaths, with an additional 107 million Euros in direct expenditure for the National Health System. In addition, we find that these effects are heterogeneous across sectors, with Services having a much larger impact than Manufacturing, and across geographic areas, with smaller benefits in areas less affected by the pandemic. These results are stable across a wide range of specifications and robustness check.
    Keywords: coronavirus; Covid-19; lockdown; essential sectors
    JEL: J18 I18
    Date: 2020–10
  31. By: Andrew Atkeson; Karen A. Kopecky; Tao Zha
    Abstract: We document four facts about the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic that are relevant for those studying the impact of nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) on COVID-19 transmission. First, across all countries and U.S. states that we study, the growth rates of daily deaths from COVID-19 fell from a wide range of initially high levels to levels close to zero within 20–30 days after each region experienced 25 cumulative deaths. Second, after this initial period, growth rates of daily deaths have hovered around zero or below everywhere in the world. Third, the cross section standard deviation of growth rates of daily deaths across locations fell very rapidly in the first 10 days of the epidemic and has remained at a relatively low level since then. Fourth, when interpreted through a range of epidemiological models, these first three facts about the growth rate of COVID deaths imply that both the effective reproduction numbers and transmission rates of COVID-19 fell from widely dispersed initial levels, and the effective reproduction number has hovered around one after the first 30 days of the epidemic virtually everywhere in the world. We argue that failing to account for these four stylized facts may result in overstating the importance of policy-mandated NPIs for shaping the progression of this deadly pandemic.
    Keywords: COVID-19; death; dispersion; NPI policy; reproduction number; transmission rate
    JEL: C01 C02 C11 I1
    Date: 2020–08–26
  32. By: von Siemens, Ferdinand
    Abstract: Although the elderly are more vulnerable to COVID-19, the empirical evidence suggests that they do not behave more cautiously in the pandemic than younger individuals. This theoretical model argues that some individuals might not comply with the COVID-19 measures to reassure themselves that they are not vulnerable, and that the incentives for such self-signaling can be stronger for the elderly. The results suggest that communication strategies emphasizing the dangers of COVID-19 could backfire and reduce compliance among the elderly.
    Keywords: motivated beliefs,compliance behavior,age,health,COVID-19
    JEL: C70 D91 D82 I12 I18
    Date: 2021
  33. By: Kazi Abdul, Mannan; Khandaker Mursheda, Farhana
    Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the world, with the United States being highly affected. A vaccine provides the best hope for a permanent solution to controlling the pandemic. Several coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines are currently in human trials. However, to be effective, a vaccine must be accepted and used by a large majority of the population. This study aimed to investigate the acceptability of COVID-19 vaccines and its predictors in addition to the attitudes towards these vaccines among public. This study did an online survey during the period June-September 2020, were collected from 26,852 individuals aged 19 years or older across six continents as part of 60 nationally representative surveys to determine potential acceptance rates and factors influencing acceptance of a COVID-19 vaccine. Results revealed that two-thirds of respondents were at least moderately worried about a widespread COVID-19 outbreak. Differences in acceptance rates ranged from almost 93% (in Tonga) to less than 43% (in Egypt). Respondents reporting higher levels of trust in information from government sources were more likely to accept a vaccine and take their employer’s advice to do so. Systematic interventions are required by public health authorities to reduce the levels of vaccines’ hesitancy and improve their acceptance. These results and specifically the low rate of acceptability is alarming to public health authorities and should stir further studies on the root causes and the need of awareness campaigns. These interventions should take the form of reviving the trust in national health authorities and structured awareness campaigns that offer transparent information about the safety and efficacy of the vaccines and the technology that was utilized in their production.
    Keywords: Novel Coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic, outbreak, vaccine, knowledge, attitude, acceptance
    JEL: I0 I1 I15 I18 I19
    Date: 2020

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