nep-hea New Economics Papers
on Health Economics
Issue of 2021‒02‒15
thirty-two papers chosen by
Nicolas R. Ziebarth
Cornell University

  1. Public Economics and Inequality: Uncovering Our Social Nature By Emmanuel Saez
  2. COVID-19 and Global Income Inequality By Angus Deaton
  3. Living and Dying in America: An Essay on Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism By Christopher J. Ruhm
  4. A local community course that raises mental wellbeing and pro-sociality By Jan-Emmanuel De Neve; Daisy Fancourt; Christian Krekel; Richard Layard
  5. When Dad Can Stay Home: Fathers' Workplace Flexibility and Maternal Health By Persson, Petra; Rossin-Slater, Maya
  6. Does Free Healthcare Affect Children's Healthcare Use and Outcomes? By Cheolmin Kang; Akira Kawamura; Haruko Noguchi
  7. Gender Differences in (some) Formative Inputs to Child Development By Michael Baker
  8. Minimum Legal Drinking Age and the Social Gradient in Binge Drinking By Alexander Ahammer; Stefan Bauernschuster; Martin Halla; Hannah Lachenmaier
  9. How Does Occupational Licensing Affect Entry into the Medical Field? An Examination of EMTs By Yelowitz, Aaron; Ingram, Samuel J.
  10. ADHD, Financial Distress, and Suicide in Adulthood: A Population Study By Beauchaine, Theodore P.; Ben-David, Itzhak; Bos, Marieke
  11. The welfare implications of climate change-related mortality: Inequality and population ethics By Marc Fleurbaey; Antonin Pottier; Stéphane Zuber
  12. "Placebo Tests" for the Impacts of Air Pollution on Health: The Challenge of Limited Healthcare Infrastructure By Guidetti, Bruna; Pereda, Paula; Severnini, Edson R.
  13. Why are pollution damages lower in developed countries? Insights from high income, high-particulate matter Hong Kong By Colmer, Jonathan; Lin, Dajun; Liu, Siying; Shimshack, Jay
  14. The Spending Responses to Adverse Health Shocks: Evidence from a Panel of Colombian Households By Cortes, Darwin; Gallegos, Andrés; Perez Perez, Jorge
  15. The Future of the Elderly Population Health Status: Filling a Knowledge Gap By Vincenzo Atella; Federico Belotti; Kim Daejung; Dana Goldman; Tadeja Gracner; Andrea Piano Mortari; Bryan Tysinger
  16. Machiavelli versus concave utility functions: should bads be spread out or concentrated? By Frijters, Paul; Krekel, Christian; Ulker, Aydogan
  17. Building robust and ethical vaccination verification systems By Zhang, Baobao; Weissinger, Laurin; Himmelreich, Johannes; McMurry, Nina; Li, Tiffany; Scheinerman, Naomi; Kreps, Sarah
  18. Pandemic Economics and the Transformation of Health Policy By Chen, Xi; Fan, Annie
  19. Climate change and population: an integrated assessment of mortality due to health impacts By Antonin Pottier; Marc Fleurbaey; Stéphane Zuber
  20. Challenges and Strategies during Pandemic : An Indian Perspective By RANA, USHA
  21. Covid-19, lockdowns and well-being: evidence from Google trends By Abel Brodeur; Andrew E. Clark; Sarah Flèche; Nattavudh Powdthavee
  22. Lockdown exit and control of the Covid-19 epidemic: group tests can be more effective By Elie Gerschel; Christian Gollier; Olivier Gossner
  23. How does COVID-19 change insurance and vaccine demand? Evidence from short-panel data in Japan By Eiji Yamamura; Yoshiro Tsutsui
  24. Housing Precarity & the COVID-19 Pandemic: Impacts of Utility Disconnection and Eviction Moratoria on Infections and Deaths Across US Counties By Kay Jowers; Christopher Timmins; Nrupen Bhavsar; Qihui Hu; Julia Marshall
  25. Mexico Needs a Fiscal Twist: Response to Covid-19 and Beyond By Swarnali A Hannan; Keiko Honjo; Mehdi Raissi
  26. The Impact of the Non-essential Business Closure Policy on Covid-19 Infection Rates By Hummy Song; Ryan M. McKenna; Angela T. Chen; Guy David; Aaron Smith-McLallen
  27. Urban density and Covid-19 By Carozzi, Felipe; Provenzano, Sandro; Roth, Sefi
  28. The Future of the City after COVID-19: Digitionalization, Preventism and Environmentalism By Julia M. Puaschunder
  29. Changing patterns of domestic abuse during Covid-19 lockdown By Ivandic, Ria; Kirchmaier, Thomas; Linton, Ben
  30. Value at COVID-19: Digitalized Healthcare, Luxury Consumption and Global Education By Julia M. Puaschunder
  31. Students’ Preferences for Returning to Colleges and Universities During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Discrete Choice Experiment By Steimle, Lauren; Sun, Yuming; Johnson, Lauren; Besedeš, Tibor; Mokhtarian, Patricia; Nazzal, Dima
  32. Motivated Beliefs and the Elderly's Compliance With Covid-19 Measures By Ferdinand von Siemens

  1. By: Emmanuel Saez
    Abstract: This paper argues that the social nature of humans, absent from the standard economic model, is crucial to understand our large modern social states and why concerns about inequality are so pervasive. A social solution arises when a situation is resolved at the group level (rather than the individual level) through cooperation and fair distribution of the resulting surplus. In human societies, childcare and education for the young, retirement benefits for the old, health care for the sick, and income support for those in need, is resolved at the social level, and through the social state in advanced economies. Social situations are pervasive even outside government and play a significant role in the distribution of pre-tax market incomes.
    JEL: H0
    Date: 2021–01
  2. By: Angus Deaton
    Abstract: There is a widespread belief that the COVID-19 pandemic has increased global income inequality, reducing per capita incomes by more in poor countries than in rich. This supposition is reasonable but false. Rich countries have experienced more deaths per head than have poor countries; their better health systems, higher incomes, more capable governments and better preparedness notwithstanding. The US did worse than some rich countries, but better than several others. Countries with more deaths saw larger declines in income. There was thus not only no trade-off between lives and income; fewer deaths meant more income. As a result, per capita incomes fell by more in higher-income countries. Country by country, international income inequality decreased. When countries are weighted by population, international income inequality increased, not because the poorest countries diverged from the richest countries, but because China—no longer a poor country—had few deaths and positive economic growth, pulling it away from poor countries. That these findings are a result of the pandemic is supported by comparing global inequality using IMF forecasts in October 2019 and October 2020.
    JEL: F01 I14 O11
    Date: 2021–01
  3. By: Christopher J. Ruhm
    Abstract: This essay reviews Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism (DEATHS), by Anne Case and Angus Deaton, a fascinating account of life and death in the United States during the late 20th and early 21st centuries. While primarily targeted towards a popular audience, the volume will be of interest to many economists and other social scientists. It postulates how public and private policies currently practiced in the United States, combined with and partly causing the declining economic and social circumstances of less educated, have led to increased mortality from drugs, suicide, and chronic liver disease. After describing the material in DEATHS in considerable detail, I suggest a variety of research questions that need to be answered to confirm or refute Case and Deaton’s arguments and describe challenges to their key hypotheses. Among the latter are the ability of the postulated relationships to explain the sharply differing mortality trajectories of non-Hispanic whites, compared with other groups, and the timing of the observed mortality changes. Along the way, I raise doubts about the usefulness of the “deaths of despair” conceptualization, with its strong implications about causality.
    JEL: I12 I14 I18 J11 J18
    Date: 2021–01
  4. By: Jan-Emmanuel De Neve; Daisy Fancourt; Christian Krekel; Richard Layard
    Abstract: Although correlates of mental wellbeing have been extensively studied, relatively little is known about how to effectively raise mental wellbeing in local communities by means of intervention. We conduct a randomised controlled trial of the "Exploring What Matters" course, a scalable social-psychological intervention aimed at raising general adult population mental wellbeing and pro-sociality. The manualised course is run by non-expert volunteers in their local communities and to date has been conducted in more than 26 countries around the world. We find that it has strong, positive causal effects on participants' self-reported subjective wellbeing (life satisfaction increases by about 63% of a standard deviation) and pro-sociality (social trust increases by about 53% of a standard deviation) while reducing measures of mental ill health (PHQ-9 and GAD-7 decrease by about 50% and 42% of a standard deviation, respectively). Impacts seem to be sustained two months post-treatment. We complement self-reported outcomes with biomarkers collected through saliva samples, including cortisol and a range of cytokines involved in inflammatory response. These move consistently into the hypothesised direction but are noisy and do not reach statistical significance at conventional levels.
    Keywords: Wellbeing, Pro-Social Behaviour, Communities, Intervention, RCT
    JEL: C93 I12 I31
    Date: 2020–01
  5. By: Persson, Petra (Stanford U and Research Institute for Industrial Economics, Stockholm); Rossin-Slater, Maya (Stanford U School of Medicine and IZA, Bonn)
    Abstract: We study how fathers' access to workplace flexibility affects maternal postpartum health. We use variation from a Swedish reform that granted new fathers more flexibility to take intermittent parental leave during the postpartum period and show that increasing the father's temporal flexibility reduces the incidence of maternal postpartum physical and mental health complications. Our results suggest that mothers bear the burden from a lack of workplace flexibility for men because fathers' inability to respond to domestic shocks exacerbates the maternal health cost of childbearing.
    JEL: I12 I18 I31 J12 J13 J38
    Date: 2020–09
  6. By: Cheolmin Kang (Faculty of Political Science and Economics, Waseda University); Akira Kawamura (Faculty of Political Science and Economics, Waseda University); Haruko Noguchi (Faculty of Political Science and Economics, Waseda University)
    Abstract: We investigate the extent to which the subsidy for children's healthcare in Japan affects children's healthcare use and outcomes using multiple nationally representative data sources. The subsidy, which made children's healthcare services essentially free for patients, was introduced and expanded to preschoolage children in the 1990s. We use a difference-in-differences framework by exploiting unique variations in subsidy status, as the introduction timing and age of eligibility differ across municipalities. We find that the subsidy significantly increased the use of outpatient care measured by visit intervals, the number of repeat patients, and monthly spending. However, we find little evidence on the overall use of inpatient care, while we observe a significant increase in the length of stay only for infants under the age of one who undergo surgery. Further, we find that the subsidy significantly improves children's subjective health (i.e., the probability of having symptoms, such as fever, cough, and nasal discharge, as measured by parents). However, we find little evidence regarding its effect on overall objective health (i.e., cured outcomes, as evaluated by a physician at discharge, and the mortality rate), while we observe significant improvements in these objective health outcomes only for infants under the age of one. The subsidy may significantly contributes to reducing the mortality rate for infants under the age of one by 0.79 per 1,000 individuals. In summary, this study indicates that free healthcare for children improves their access to healthcare as well as health outcomes, thus prioritizing this investment as part of national healthcare plans.
    Keywords: children's healthcare subsidy; child-care cost-sharing; children's healthcare utilization; subjective symptoms; child mortality; Japan
    JEL: I18 I11 I12
    Date: 2019–08
  7. By: Michael Baker
    Abstract: While there is a large literature on gender differences in important childhood developmental inputs in developing countries, the evidence for developed countries is relatively limited. I investigate gender differences in some of these inputs in the US and Canada. In the US very low birthweight males face excess mortality compared to their female counterparts. I provide evidence that the previously documented increase in mortality with the withdrawal of critical care at the Very Low Birth Weight (VLBW) threshold is primarily for boys. The fact that the critical care of both boys and girls changes discretely at this threshold suggests a possible misallocation of scarce hospital resources. In the US first born girls are breastfed longer than first born males, but the difference is so small that it is unlikely to have any consequence. Finally, mothers in the US and Canada are more likely to experience depression post birth when the first born child is a boy. Perhaps related, the parenting of first born boys in Canada in the first years of life is more likely to be confrontational.
    JEL: I14 J16
    Date: 2021–01
  8. By: Alexander Ahammer; Stefan Bauernschuster; Martin Halla; Hannah Lachenmaier
    Abstract: Low minimum legal drinking ages (MLDAs), as prevalent in many European countries, are severely understudied. We use rich survey and administrative data to estimate the impact of the Austrian MLDA of 16 on teenage drinking behavior and morbidity. Regression discontinuity estimates show that legal access to alcohol increases the frequency and intensity of drinking, which results in more hospital admissions due to alcohol intoxication. The effects are stronger for boys and teenagers with low socioeconomic background. The policy’s impact is not driven by access. Data from an annual large-scale field study shows that about 25 percent of all retailers sell even hard liquor to underage customers. In line with this, perceived access to alcohol is very high and hardly changes at the MLDA. However, teenagers consider binge drinking at weekends to be less harmful after gaining legal access.
    Keywords: alcohol, minimum legal drinking age, morbidity
    JEL: I12 I18 H75 J13
    Date: 2020
  9. By: Yelowitz, Aaron (University of Kentucky); Ingram, Samuel J. (Federal Housing Finance Agency)
    Abstract: The COVID‐19 pandemic has led to temporary suspensions of many occupational licensing laws, especially for health care professionals, in an effort to manage surges in health care demand. The crisis highlights more general concerns about occupational licensing laws, yet convincing empirical evidence on the degree to which such laws have inhibited entry into health care professions is scarce because most studies must rely on cross‐sectional variation to identify such effects. In this study, we indirectly examine how occupational licensing affects the choice to become an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) by exploiting the demand‐side shock from the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Although demand‐side shocks should increase the likelihood of becoming an EMT relative to other similar non‐medical professions, this effect should be moderated in states with higher barriers to entry. Using a large number of individuals from the American Community Survey (ACS) who work as either EMTs or in a similar non‐medical field (protective services), we find suggestive evidence that while the demand‐side shock from the ACA increased the likelihood of being an EMT, this effect was substantially moderated by more stringent occupational licensing laws. Although the effect for the full sample is marginally significant, the estimated effects are substantially larger for individuals under age 40, who are presumably more flexible in choosing a career path. Evaluated at the average number of days to complete EMT training and the pre‐treatment uninsured rate, the implied effects for young individuals in the most careful specification suggests virtually complete offset; the ACA demand‐side shock would increase entry by 18 percentage points, while occupational licensing restrictions reduce entry by a similar magnitude.
    Keywords: Occupational Licensing, Occupational Choice, Emergency Medical Technicians, Emergency Services
    JEL: J44 K31 I13
    Date: 2021–01
  10. By: Beauchaine, Theodore P. (Ohio State U); Ben-David, Itzhak (Ohio State U); Bos, Marieke (Swedish House of Finance, Stockholm School of Economics)
    Abstract: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) exerts lifelong impairment, including difficulty sustaining employment, poor credit, and suicide risk. To date, however, studies have assessed selected samples, often via self-report. Using mental health data from the entire Swedish population (N=11.55 million) and a random sample of credit data (N=189,267), we provide the first study of objective financial outcomes among adults with ADHD, including associations with suicide. Controlling for psychiatric comorbidities, substance use, education, and income, those with ADHD start adulthood with normal credit demand and default rates. However, in middle age, their default rates grow exponentially, yielding poor credit scores and diminished credit access despite high demand. Sympathomimetic prescriptions are unassociated with improved financial behaviors. Last, financial distress is associated with fourfold higher risk of suicide among those with ADHD. For men but not women with ADHD who suicide, outstanding debt increases in the 3 years prior. No such pattern exists for others who suicide.
    JEL: G4 G41 G5 G51 I1 I12 I14
    Date: 2020–09
  11. By: Marc Fleurbaey (Paris School of Economics; Centre International de Recherche sur l'Environnement et le Développement - CIRED); Antonin Pottier (Centre International de Recherche sur l'Environnement et le Développement - CIRED, EHESS); Stéphane Zuber (Paris School of Economics, Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne)
    Abstract: Climate change-related mortality may strongly affect human well-being. By reducing life expectancy, it reduces the well-being of some infividuals. This may exacerbate existing inequalities: ex-ante inequality among people in different groups or regions of the world; ex-post inequality in experienced well-being by people in the same generation. But mortality may also reduce total population size by preventing some individuals from having children. This raises the population-ethical problem of how total population size should be valued. This paper proposes a methodology to measure te welfare effects of climate change through population and inequality change. We illustrate the methodology using a climate-economy integrated assessment model involving endogenous population change due to climate change-related mortality
    Keywords: Climate change-related mortality; fairness; inequality; population ethics
    JEL: D63 D81
    Date: 2020–07
  12. By: Guidetti, Bruna (University of Michigan); Pereda, Paula (University of Sao Paulo); Severnini, Edson R. (Carnegie Mellon University)
    Abstract: When examining the impacts of exposure to air pollution on health outcomes, researchers usually carry out "placebo tests" to provide evidence in support of their identification assumption. In general, this exercise targets health conditions seemingly unrelated to air pollution. In this study, we argue that one should proceed with caution when running such falsification tests. If healthcare infrastructure is limited, when we observe health shocks such as those driven by air pollution, the infrastructure needs to be adjusted to meet the increased demand by canceling or rescheduling elective and non-urgent procedures, for example. As a result, even health conditions seemingly unrelated to air pollution may be indirectly affected by pollution.
    Keywords: placebo tests, air pollution, healthcare infrastructure, health outcomes, hospitalization for respiratory diseases and other causes
    JEL: I15 Q53 Q56 O13
    Date: 2021–01
  13. By: Colmer, Jonathan; Lin, Dajun; Liu, Siying; Shimshack, Jay
    Abstract: Conventional wisdom suggests that pollution damages are high in less-developed countries because they are highly polluted. Using administrative data on the universe of births and deaths, we explore the morbidity and mortality effects of gestational particulate matter exposure in high-pollution yet highly-developed Hong Kong. The effects of particulates on birthweight are large. We estimate no effect of particulates on neonatal mortality. We interpret our stark mortality results in a comparative analysis of pollution-mortality relationships across well-known studies. We provide evidence that mortality damages may be high in less-developed countries because they are less developed, not because they are more polluted.
    Keywords: particulate matter; marginal damages; infant health
    JEL: Q53 Q56
    Date: 2020–07
  14. By: Cortes, Darwin; Gallegos, Andrés; Perez Perez, Jorge
    Abstract: We analyze the effect of adverse health shocks on households' different expenditure shares using a difference in differences approach. We find that households engage in substitution between health and food spending in response to the negative health shocks. We find substantial heterogeneity in this trade-off between current and future health mediated by access to social protection, job contract type, and location (urban-rural). Households from rural areas, with heads holding informal jobs, and without access to safety nets, are more vulnerable than others. We discuss several policy implications.
    Date: 2021–01–19
  15. By: Vincenzo Atella (DEF and CEIS, Università di Roma "Tor Vergata"); Federico Belotti (DEF and CEIS, Università di Roma "Tor Vergata"); Kim Daejung (Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs); Dana Goldman (University of Southern California); Tadeja Gracner (RAND Corporation); Andrea Piano Mortari (CEIS, Università di Roma "Tor Vergata"); Bryan Tysinger (University of Southern California)
    Abstract: The ageing process in OECD countries calls for a better understanding of the future disease prevalence, life expectancy and patterns of inequalities in health outcomes. In this paper we present the results obtained from several dynamic microsimulation models of the Future Elderly Model (FEM) family for thirteen OECD countries, with the aim of reproducing for the first time comparable longterm trends in individual health status across OECD. The FEM is a multi-risk multi-morbidity dynamic microsimulation model to project health status and health demand. Given the dynamic structure of the model, we allow individual health status to evolve over time according to individual characteristics. Our model provides forecasts of the evolution of life expectancy and prevalences of major chronic conditions and disabilities, overall, by gender and by education. We find a catch-up of the considered European countries main chronic conditions prevalence with the US and a relevant and persistent educational gradient in the health status of elderly patients. Our findings represent a valid contribution to support policy makers in designing and implementing effective interventions in the healthcare sector.
    Keywords: Population ageing, Disease burden, Microsimulation, Health care demand, Education gradient, OECD.
    JEL: I1 J1 J11 J14
    Date: 2020–12–22
  16. By: Frijters, Paul; Krekel, Christian; Ulker, Aydogan
    Abstract: Is wellbeing higher if the same number of negative events is spread out rather than bunched in time? Should positive events be spread out or bunched? We answer these questions exploiting quarterly data on six positive and twelve negative life events in the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia panel. Accounting for selection, anticipation, and adaptation, we find a tipping point when it comes to negative events: once people experience about two negative events, their wellbeing depreciates disproportionally as more and more events occur in a given period. For positive events, effects are weakly decreasing in size. So for a person's wellbeing both the good and the bad should be spread out rather than bunched in time, corresponding to the classic economic presumption of concave utility rather than Machiavelli's prescript of inflicting all injuries at once. Yet, differences are small, with complete smoothing of all negative events over all people and periods calculated to yield no more than a 12% reduction in the total negative wellbeing impact of negative events.
    Keywords: wellbeing; mental health; life events; non-linearities; hedonic adaptation; welfare analysis
    JEL: I31 P35
    Date: 2020–03
  17. By: Zhang, Baobao (Cornell University); Weissinger, Laurin; Himmelreich, Johannes; McMurry, Nina; Li, Tiffany (Yale Law School); Scheinerman, Naomi; Kreps, Sarah
    Abstract: As countries begin to vaccinate their populations against COVID-19, creating systems to verify vaccine records will be vital to reopening businesses, educational institutions, and travel. We consider the challenges of building vaccine record verification (VRV) systems that involve data sharing by health care providers, methods for verifying vaccine records, and regulation of how entities (e.g., workplaces, schools, businesses, and airlines) may request proof of vaccination. In particular, we focus on the opportunities and risks associated with digital vaccine passport apps. We propose three ethical principles to guide the building of VRV systems: 1) aligning systems with vaccine prioritization, 2) upholding fairness and equity, and 3) building trustworthy technology that protects the public's health data.
    Date: 2020–12–30
  18. By: Chen, Xi (Yale University); Fan, Annie (China Health Policy and Management Society)
    Abstract: The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is bringing about once-in-a-century changes to human society. This article summarizes key characteristics of the COVID-19 pandemic that should be incorporated in economics and health policy analyses. We then review the literature on the importance of public health measures, including taking early, targeted, and coordinated actions, enhancing social safety nets for vulnerable populations, and strengthening public communications. In the long term, addressing misallocation of health resources and improving health governance are critical. Drawing on evidence from past and present epidemics as well as comparing cross-country variations in their responses to the current public health emergency, we navigate long-awaited health reforms in areas that help optimize epidemics response and realign incentives of the major players in the health sector in preparation for the next pandemic.
    Keywords: COVID-19, pandemic, healthcare reform, health governance, global health policy
    JEL: I18 J24 H12 P41 H51
    Date: 2021–01
  19. By: Antonin Pottier (Centre International de Recherche sur l'Environnement et le Développement - CIRED, EHESS); Marc Fleurbaey (Paris School of Economics; Centre International de Recherche sur l'Environnement et le Développement - CIRED); Stéphane Zuber (Paris School of Economics, Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne)
    Abstract: We develop an integrated assessment model with endogenous population dynamics accouting for the impact of global climate change on mortality through five channels (heat, diarrhoeal disease, malaria, dengue, undernutrition). An age-dependent endogenous mortality rate, which depends linearly on global temperature increase, is introduced and calibrated. We consider three emission scenarios (business-as-usual, 3°C and 2°C scenarios) and find that the five risks induce deaths in the range from 160,000 per annum (in the near term) to almost 350,000 (at the end of the century) in the business-as-annual. We examine the number of life-years lost due to the five selected risks and find figures ranging from 5 to 10 millions annually. These numbers are too low to impact the aggregate dynamics and we do not find significant feedback effects of climate mortality to production, and thus emissions and temperature increase. But we do find interesting evolution patterns. The number of life-years lost is constant (business-as-usual) or decreases over time (3°C and 2°C). For the stabilisation scenarios, we find that the number of life-years lost is higher today than in 2100, due to improvements in generic mortality conditions, the bias of those improvements towards the young, and an ageing population. From that perspective, the present generation is found to bear the brunt of the considered climate change impacts
    Keywords: Climate change; Impacts; Integrated assessment model; Mortality risk; Endogenous population
    JEL: Q51 Q54 J11
    Date: 2020–11
  20. By: RANA, USHA
    Abstract: The world history has been witnessed of number of pandemics including Russian flu in 1889, Spanish flu in 1918, Asian flu in 1957, HIV/AIDS (human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) in 1981, and SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) in 2003. Now, the human community is struggling against transmitting disease called COVID-19 (coronavirus disease). Many countries, including China, Italy, the United States of America, Spain, France and Iran, etc. experienced catastrophic COVID-19 attack and lost the lives of their many citizens. India, the world's second-largest population, has not yet experienced the outbreak of corona disease on a community level, but India is most likely to be affected. This paper presents a countryside discussion on the process and importance of a quick response of India as a remedy against COVID-19. This paper is based on secondary data from various resources of world health organization (WHO), the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India and other research documents. The analysis demonstrates the decline in the percent of COVID-19 infected people after proper social distancing implementation among the human community.
    Date: 2020–09–30
  21. By: Abel Brodeur; Andrew E. Clark; Sarah Flèche; Nattavudh Powdthavee
    Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has led many governments to implement lockdowns. While lockdowns may help to contain the spread of the virus, they may result in substantial damage to population well-being. We use Google Trends data to test whether the lockdowns implemented in Europe and America led to changes in well-being related topic search terms. Using differences-in-differences and a regression discontinuity design to evaluate the causal effects of lockdown, we find a substantial increase in the search intensity for boredom in Europe and the US. We also found a significant increase in searches for loneliness, worry and sadness, while searches for stress, suicide and divorce on the contrary fell. Our results suggest that people's mental health may have been severely affected by the lockdown.
    Keywords: boredom, COVID-19, loneliness, well-being
    JEL: I12 I31 J22
    Date: 2020–05
  22. By: Elie Gerschel (CREST - Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique [Bruz] - ENSAI - Ecole Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Analyse de l'Information [Bruz], X - École polytechnique); Christian Gollier (TSE - Toulouse School of Economics - UT1 - Université Toulouse 1 Capitole - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement); Olivier Gossner (CREST - Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique [Bruz] - ENSAI - Ecole Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Analyse de l'Information [Bruz], CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: The lack of efficient mass testing tools for SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes Covid-19 has contributed to the accelerated spread of the epidemic. Infected people are unaware that they are spreading the disease during the incubation period as well as in asymptomatic cases or cases with mild symptoms. To limit the number of victims of the epidemic, the strategy adopted by most affected countries is therefore social distancing or complete lockdown, a strategy that can only be beneficial for a limited time, given its economic and social cost. Today, the most feasible way out of the stalemate requires widespread screening of the population. Such screening would make it possible to isolate infected people and allow others to leave the lockdown. However, production capacity for SARS-CoV-2 tests is limited. Although production is increasing, it will not allow for sufficiently systematic and frequent screening to permit the lifting of health restrictions. We here describe how the usefulness of each test can be amplified by applying it to the mixture of samples from several individuals. This technique, called group testing, has already been successfully applied on SARS-CoV-2. We show how the group-test method must be calibrated to maximize the usefulness of each available test.
    Date: 2020–04
  23. By: Eiji Yamamura; Yoshiro Tsutsui
    Abstract: In this study, we explored how the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) affected the demand for insurance and vaccines in Japan from mid-March to mid-April 2020. Through independent internet surveys, respondents were asked hypothetical questions concerning the demand for insurance and vaccines for protection against COVID-19. Using the collected short-panel data, after controlling for individual characteristics using the fixed effects model, the key findings, within the context of the pandemic, were as follows: (1) Contrary to extant studies, the demand for insurance by females was smaller than that by their male counterparts; (2) The gap in demand for insurance between genders increased as the pandemic prevailed; (3) The demand for a vaccine by females was higher than that for males; and (4) As COVID-19 spread throughout Japan, demand for insurance decreased, whereas the demand for a vaccine increased.
    Date: 2021–01
  24. By: Kay Jowers; Christopher Timmins; Nrupen Bhavsar; Qihui Hu; Julia Marshall
    Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated the adoption of a number of policies that aim to reduce the spread of the disease by promoting housing stability. Housing precarity, which includes both the risk of eviction and utility disconnections or shut-offs, reduces a person’s ability to abide by social distancing orders and comply with hygiene recommendations. Our analysis quantifies the impact of these various economic policies on COVID-19 infection and death rates using panel regression techniques to control for a variety of potential confounders. We find that policies that limit evictions are found to reduce COVID-19 infections by 3.8% and reduce deaths by 11%. Moratoria on utility disconnections reduce COVID-19 infections by 4.4% and mortality rates by 7.4%. Had such policies been in place across all counties (i.e., adopted as federal policy) from early March 2020 through the end of November 2020, our estimated counterfactuals show that policies that limit evictions could have reduced COVID-19 infections by 14.2% and deaths by 40.7%. For moratoria on utility disconnections, COVID-19 infections rates could have been reduced by 8.7% and deaths by 14.8%. Housing precarity policies that prevent eviction and utility disconnections have been effective mechanisms for decreasing both COVID-19 infections and deaths.
    JEL: I14 R38 R5
    Date: 2021–01
  25. By: Swarnali A Hannan; Keiko Honjo; Mehdi Raissi
    Abstract: Mexico’s fiscal response to the pandemic has been modest compared to its peers, reflecting the authorities’ desire to not issue new debt for spending. This approach, however, risks a more severe recession and a weaker economic recovery, with further costs in the future. Balancing the need for stronger near-term fiscal support for the people and the recovery against medium-term discipline, this paper lays out an alternative strategy. We show that credibly announcing a pro-growth and inclusive medium-term fiscal reform upfront—including increased tax capacity, higher public investment and strengthened social safety nets—would open space for larger short-term support and close medium-term fiscal gaps. Model simulations suggest that this package would boost output, limit lasting economic damage from the pandemic, and put debt trajectory on a declining path in the medium term as tax reforms pay off and risk premia decline.
    Keywords: Social assistance spending;Fiscal policy;Revenue administration;Health care spending;Public investment spending;Covid-19,fiscal response,tax,social safety nets,general equilibrium model.,WP,social security contribution deferral,cost reduction,tax payment,personal income,property tax,tax administration record
    Date: 2020–10–13
  26. By: Hummy Song; Ryan M. McKenna; Angela T. Chen; Guy David; Aaron Smith-McLallen
    Abstract: In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, many localities instituted non-essential business closure orders, keeping individuals categorized as essential workers at the frontlines while sending their non-essential counterparts home. We examine the extent to which being designated as an essential or non-essential worker impacts one’s risk of being Covid-positive following the non-essential business closure order in Pennsylvania. We also assess the intrahousehold transmission risk experienced by their cohabiting family members and roommates. Using a difference-in-differences framework, we estimate that workers designated as essential have a 55% higher likelihood of being positive for Covid-19 than those classified as non-essential; in other words, non-essential workers experience a protective effect. While members of the health care and social assistance subsector contribute significantly to this overall effect, it is not completely driven by them. We also find evidence of intrahousehold transmission that differs in intensity by essential status. Dependents cohabiting with an essential worker have a 17% higher likelihood of being Covid-positive compared to those cohabiting with a non-essential worker. Roommates cohabiting with an essential worker experience a 38% increase in likelihood of being Covid-positive. Analysis of households with a Covid-positive member suggests that intrahousehold transmission is an important mechanism
    JEL: H75 I12 I14 I18 J21 J68
    Date: 2021–01
  27. By: Carozzi, Felipe; Provenzano, Sandro; Roth, Sefi
    Abstract: This paper estimates the link between population density and COVID-19 spread and severity in the contiguous United States. To overcome confounding factors, we use two Instrumental Variable (IV) strategies that exploit geological features and historical populations to induce exogenous variation in population density without affecting COVID-19 cases and deaths directly. We find that density has affected the timing of the outbreak, with denser locations more likely to have an early outbreak. However, we find no evidence that population density is positively associated with time-adjusted COVID-19 cases and deaths. Using data from Google, Facebook, the US Census and The County Health Rankings and Roadmaps program, we also investigate several possible mechanisms for our findings. We show that population density can affect the timing of outbreaks through higher connectedness of denser locations. Furthermore, we find that population density is positively associated with proxies for social distancing measures, access to healthcare and income, highlighting the importance of these mediating factors in containing the outbreak.
    Keywords: Covid-19; density; congestion forces; coronavirus; ES/P000622/1
    JEL: I12 R12
    Date: 2020–08
  28. By: Julia M. Puaschunder (The New School,Department of Economics,USA)
    Abstract: Ever since, metropolitan areas have seen a resurgence of the city as a hub for exchange of ideas, social transformation and innovation. Since the ages of industrialization and globalization, cities flourished in terms of economic growth and societal advancement. The 2020 COVID-19 crisis may set an end to this. Some of the major cities and foremost Western world metropolis began to empty out with the rapid rise of an infected city population due to social transfer of the pandemic and worsened diseases outcomes in a constraint medical system in high density areas. Even if the COVID-19 will be defeated with a vaccine or overcome with herd immunity during the coming years, the economy of large cities may be permanently changed given an ongoing digitalization trends, preventive medical care attention and environmental concerns in the wake of climate change. This paper envisions these three new trends of globalization shifting cityscaping to digitalization, focus on preventive medical care and environmental conscientiousness in future cities.
    Keywords: cities, Coronavirus, COVID-19, digitalization, economic growth theory, healthcare, human capital, inequality, innovation, international development
    Date: 2020–09
  29. By: Ivandic, Ria; Kirchmaier, Thomas; Linton, Ben
    Abstract: The effects of preventing a COVID-19 health crisis have had unintended consequences on domestic abuse (DA) victimization. We contribute to the literature on domestic abuse in lockdown by providing insight on how changing patterns of domestic abuse can explain differences in magnitudes reported across studies. We examine the patterns of domestic abuse during the COVID-19 lockdown in Greater London and find that the lockdown changed the nature of reporting and the type of relationship the abuse occurs within. While abuse by current partners as well as family members increased on average by 8.1% and 17.1% respectively over the lockdown period, abuse by ex-partners declined by 11.4%. These findings show that reporting the average change in domestic abuse during lockdown can be misleading when designing a policy response. Moreover, we show that all the increase in domestic abuse calls is driven by third party reporting, particularly evident in areas with high density. This suggests that under reporting is present in the lockdown, particularly in households where the abuse cannot be reported by an outsider. Although these findings pertain to the COVID-19 lockdown, they also highlight the role that victim exposure and proximity has in affecting domestic abuse.
    Keywords: coronavirus; Covid-19; lockdown; domestic abuse; domestic violence
    JEL: J12
    Date: 2020–11
  30. By: Julia M. Puaschunder (The New School,Department of Economics,USA)
    Abstract: The new Coronavirus (COVID-19) accounts for the most severe health and economic threat since about a century. The human, medical and economic shock with major fallout in social, humanitarian and international development domains is the most tragic event having occurred since the Great Plagues of the medieval times, the Great Depression and the two World Wars. Yet in every crisis and lasting economic, societal and humanitarian shock, there are always positive externalities as well. While the author foremost respects the more important literature on the tremendous negative consequences and hidden inequalities and unnoticed despairs of COVID-19, this paper sheds heterodox light on the positive externalities and economic growth potential of the Great Pandemic of 2019. Three positive outcomes of the novel Coronavirus pandemic are captured in a foresighted outlook: (1) A digitalization disruption with particular focus on healthcare, preventive medicine and whole-rounded, ecofriendly lifestyles is perpetuated by COVID-19. (2) As in previous pandemics, luxury consumption that is prospected to flourish after consumption constraints and lockdown endurance may play a role in driving economic growth in the post-COVID-19 world. (3) Digitalized education and conglomerates in the educational sector may lead to universities becoming truly global temples of information exchange. The paper closes with potential ethical imperatives to ennoble our prospected future post-COVID-19 world to come. Overall, this paper aims at providing a glimpse of hope in despair and grievance over COVID-19 and advocates for equal access or redistribution of the merits of the gains from COVID-19 for living the dream of a better, more beautiful society than COVID-19 has hit before.
    Keywords: Access to education, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Digitalization, Economics, Education, Equalizer, Healthcare, Luxury, Medicine, Pandemic, Technology, Value
    Date: 2020–09
  31. By: Steimle, Lauren; Sun, Yuming; Johnson, Lauren; Besedeš, Tibor; Mokhtarian, Patricia; Nazzal, Dima
    Abstract: Importance: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, institutions of higher education (IHEs) are weighing decisions about when and how to reopen their campuses for the Spring 2021 term. Schools are revisiting their plans to use in-person, online, or hybrid (a mixture of in-person and online) modes of course delivery, as well as their safety plans. However, there is still limited knowledge about how to properly plan for campus reopening decisions, including course delivery and campus safety, to maintain enrollment and keep students and faculty safe. Objectives: To assess 1) students’ willingness to comply with health protocols and contrast to their perception of their classmates’ compliance, 2) whether students preferred in-person or online learning during a pandemic, and 3) The importance weights of different aspects of campus operations (i.e., modes of course delivery and safety plans) for students when they decide to enroll or defer. Design, setting, and participants: An internet-based survey of college students took place from June 25, 2020 to July 10, 2020. Participants included 398 industrial engineering students at a medium-size public university in Atlanta, Georgia. The survey included a discrete choice experiment with questions that asked students to choose whether to enroll or defer when presented with hypothetical scenarios related to Fall 2020 modes of course delivery and aspects of campus safety. The survey also asked students about expected compliance with health protocols, whether they preferred in-person or online courses, and sociodemographic information. Main outcomes and measures: We estimated students’ willingness to comply with potential health protocols, choices between in-person and online learning, and the importance of different modes of course delivery and safety measures when deciding to enroll or defer. Results: The response rate of students who participated in the survey was 20.8%. A latent class model showed three classes of students: those who were “low-concern” (comprising a 29% expected share of the sample), those who were “moderate-concern” (54%) and those who were “high-concern” (17%). We found that scenarios that offered an on-campus experience with large classes delivered online and small classes delivered in-person, strict safety protocols in terms of mask-wearing, testing, and residence halls, and lenient safety protocols in terms of social gatherings were broadly the scenarios with the highest expected enrollment probabilities. The decision to enroll or defer for all students was largely determined by the mode of delivery for courses and the safety measures on campus around COVID-19 testing and mask-wearing. A logistic regression model showed that higher perceived risk of infection of COVID-19, better living suitability for online courses, being older, and less risk seeking were significant factors for a person to choose online learning. Students stated for themselves and their classmates that they would comply with some but not all health protocols against COVID-19, especially those limiting social gatherings. Conclusions and relevance: The majority of students indicated a preference to enroll during the COVID-19 pandemic so long as sufficient safety measures are put in place and all classes were not entirely in-person. As IHEs consider different options for campus operations during pandemics, they should consider the heterogenous preferences among their students. Offering flexibility in course modes may be a way to appeal to many students who vary in terms of their concern about the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, since students overall preferred some safety measures placed around mask-wearing and COVID-19 testing on campus, IHEs may want to recommend or require wearing masks and doing some surveillance tests for all students, faculty, and staff. Students were expecting themselves and their fellow classmates to comply with some but not all health protocols, which may help IHEs identify protocols that need more education and awareness, like the limits on social gatherings and the practice of social distancing at social gatherings.
    Date: 2020–12–21
  32. By: Ferdinand von Siemens
    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 behaviour, age, health, Covid-19
    JEL: C70 D91 D82 I12 I18
    Date: 2021

This nep-hea issue is ©2021 by Nicolas R. Ziebarth. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.