nep-hea New Economics Papers
on Health Economics
Issue of 2021‒03‒08
33 papers chosen by
Nicolas R. Ziebarth
Cornell University

  1. Improving healthy eating in children: Experimental evidence By Gary Charness; Ramón Cobo-Reyes; Erik Eyster; Gabriel Katz; Ángela Sánchez; Matthias Sutter
  2. High School Dropout and the Intergenerational Transmission of Crime By Dragone, Davide; Migali, Giuseppe; Zucchelli, Eugenio
  3. The Intergenerational Transmission of Mental and Physical Health in the United Kingdom By Bencsik, Panka; Halliday, Timothy J.; Mazumder, Bhashkar
  4. Maternal depression and child human capital: a genetic instrumental-variable approach By Andrew E. Clark; Conchita D'Ambrosio; Simone Ghislandi; Anthony Lepinteur; Giorgia Menta
  5. Educational, Labor-Market and Intergenerational Consequences of Poor Childhood Health By Karbownik, Krzysztof; Wray, Anthony
  6. Maternal Postpartum Depression Effects on Child's Health By Lucia Schiavon
  7. Garbage in, garbage out: the impact of e-waste dumping sites on early child health By Stefania Lovo; Samantha Rawlings
  8. Sick of Your Poor Neighborhood? By Linea Hasager; Mia Jørgensen
  9. Cognitive Load and Occupational Injuries By Bonsang, Eric; Caroli, Eve
  10. Depowering Risk: Vehicle Power Restriction and Teen Driver Accidents in Italy By R. Brau; M. G. Nieddu; S. Balia
  11. The Impact of CEOs’ Gender on Organisational Efficiency in the Public Sector: Evidence from the English NHS By , AISDL
  12. Who will be the mediator? Local politics and hospital closures in Germany By Sriubaite, Ieva
  13. Energy Saving Can Kill: Evidence from the Fukushima Nuclear Accident By Guojun He; Takanao Tanaka
  14. Thiele's Differential Equation Based on Markov Jump Processes with Non-countable State Space By Emmanuel Coffie; Sindre Duedahl; Frank Proske
  15. Building and sustaining collaborative platforms in genomics and biobanks for health innovation By Hermann Garden; Naomi Hawkins; David Winickoff
  16. Does Private Equity Investment in Healthcare Benefit Patients? Evidence from Nursing Homes By Atul Gupta; Sabrina T. Howell; Constantine Yannelis; Abhinav Gupta
  17. The Safest Time to Fly: Pandemic Response in the Era of Fox News By Ananyev, Maxim; Poyker, Michael; Tian, Yuan
  18. Preparing for a Pandemic: Accelerating Vaccine Availability By Amrita Ahuja; Susan Athey; Arthur Baker; Eric Budish; Juan Camilo Castillo; Rachel Glennerster; Scott Duke Kominers; Michael Kremer; Jean Nahrae Lee; Canice Prendergast; Christopher M. Snyder; Alex Tabarrok; Brandon Joel Tan; Witold Więcek
  19. Economic and Epidemiological Effects of Mandated and Spontaneous Social Distancing By Bodenstein, M.; Corsetti, G.; Guerrieri, L.
  20. Behavior and the Transmission of COVID-19 By Andrew Atkeson; Karen A. Kopecky; Tao Zha
  21. COVID-19 and optimal lockdown strategies: The effect of new and more virulent strains By Caulkins, Jonathan P.; Grass, Dieter; Feichtinger, Gustav; Hartl, Richard; Kort, Peter M.; Prskawetz, Alexia; Seidl, Andrea; Wrzaczek, Stefan
  22. Spreading the disease: Protest in times of pandemics By Lange, Martin; Monscheuer, Ole
  23. Scientists’ Opinions on Immunity Certificates: Evidence from a Large-Scale Survey Among more than 12,000 Scientists By Iván Aranzales; Ho Fai Chan; Reiner Eichenberger; Rainer Hegselmann; David Stadelmann; Benno Torgler
  24. A Parsimonious Behavioral SEIR Model of the 2020 COVID Epidemic in the United States and the United Kingdom By Andrew Atkeson
  25. Coronavirus and Social Distancing: Do Non-Pharmaceutical-Interventions Work (at least) in the Short Run? By David Bardey; Manuel Fernández; Alexis Gravel
  26. The Effect of Control Measures on COVID-19 Transmission and Work Resumption: International Evidence By Meng, Lina; Zhou, Yinggang; Zhang, Ruige; Ye, Zhen; Xia, Senmao; Cerulli, Giovanni; Casady, Carter; Härdle, Wolfgang Karl
  27. Scientists' opinion, attitudes, and consensus towards immunity passports By Iván Aranzales; Ho Fai Chan; Reiner Eichenberger; Rainer Hegselmann; David Stadelmann; Benno Torgler
  28. COVID-19 with Stigma: New Evidence from Mobility Data and “Go to Travel” Campaign By Delgado Narro, Augusto Ricardo
  29. A belt and braces approach – the effect of soft and hard lockdowns against Covid-19 in Portugal By Miguel St.Aubyn
  30. COVID-19, Race, and Redlining By Graziella Bertocchi; Arcangelo Dimico
  31. Are epidemiological indicators misleading under uncertainty? An evaluation and a remedy from an economic perspective By Christelle Baunez; Michaël Degoulet; Stéphane Luchini; Patrick A. Pintus
  32. Containment measures, employment and the spread of COVID-19 in Spanish municipalities By Eduardo Gutiérrez; Enrique Moral-Benito
  33. Disentangling Covid-19, Economic Mobility, and Containment Policy Shocks By Annika Camehl; Malte Rieth

  1. By: Gary Charness (University of California, Santa Barbara); Ramón Cobo-Reyes (American University of Sharjah); Erik Eyster (University of California, Santa Barbara); Gabriel Katz (University of Exeter and Universidad Catolica des Uruguay); Ángela Sánchez (NYU Abu Dhabi); Matthias Sutter (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, University of Cologne, University of Innsbruck, IZA, and CESifo)
    Abstract: We present a field experiment to study the effects of non-monetary incentives on healthy food choices of 282 children in elementary schools. Previous interventions have typically paid participants for healthy eating, but this often may not be feasible. We introduce a system where food items are graded based on their nutritional value, involving parents or classmates as change agents by providing them with information regarding the food choices of their children or friends. We find parents’ involvement in the decision process to be particularly beneficial in boosting healthy food choices, with very strong results that persist months after the intervention.
    Keywords: Healthy eating, children, parents, non-monetary incentives, field experiment
    JEL: C93 I12
    Date: 2020–12–27
  2. By: Dragone, Davide (University of Bologna); Migali, Giuseppe (Lancaster University); Zucchelli, Eugenio (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)
    Abstract: We explore the relationship between high school dropout and pupils' adult crime by accounting for the role of the intergenerational transmission of crime. We employ a human capital model of schooling and crime and show that the intergenerational transmission of crime could have a direct effect on adult crime as well as an indirect effect mediated by high school dropout. We empirically assess the relevance of these relationships using fixed effects linear probability models and inverse probability weighting regression adjustment on US data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health. We find that dropping out from high school and having a convicted father increase the probability of adult crime, with the former presenting a larger effect. Our empirical models also suggest that having a convicted father increases the probability of dropping out from school. This reveals that paternal crime imposes a double penalty on children: it increases their probability of committing crimes later on in life both directly and indirectly via school dropout. When considering the role of the environment, we find that while an early exposure to high levels of crime exacerbates dropping out, it has no direct long-term effect on adult crime. Finally, we show that individual traits may also play a role, as pupils with lower levels of cognitive skills present higher probabilities of adult criminal behaviour and stronger intergenerational effects.
    Keywords: intergenerational transmission, crime, high school dropout, Add Health
    JEL: I26 J62 K42
    Date: 2021–02
  3. By: Bencsik, Panka (University of Chicago); Halliday, Timothy J. (University of Hawaii at Manoa); Mazumder, Bhashkar (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago)
    Abstract: We estimate intergenerational health persistence in the United Kingdom using Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALY), a broad measure of health derived from the SF-12 Survey. We estimate that both the rank-rank slope and the intergenerational health association (IHA) are 0.21. We use components of the SF-12 to create mental and physical health indices and find that mental health is at least as persistent across generations as physical health. Importantly, parents' mental health is much more strongly associated with children's health than parents' physical health indicating that mental health might be a more important transmission channel. Finally, we construct an overall measure of welfare that combines income and health, and estimate a rank-rank association of 0.31. This is considerably lower than a comparable estimate of 0.43 for the US, suggesting greater mobility of overall welfare in the UK than the US.
    Keywords: intergenerational health mobility, mental health, physical health, United Kingdom
    JEL: J62 I14
    Date: 2021–02
  4. By: Andrew E. Clark; Conchita D'Ambrosio; Simone Ghislandi; Anthony Lepinteur; Giorgia Menta
    Abstract: We here address the causal relationship between maternal depression and child human capital using UK cohort data. We exploit the conditionally-exogenous variation in mothers' genomes in an instrumental-variable approach, and describe the conditions under which mother's genetic variants can be used as valid instruments. An additional episode of maternal depression between the child's birth up to age nine reduces both their cognitive and non-cognitive skills by 20 to 45% of a SD throughout adolescence. Our results are robust to a battery of sensitivity tests addressing, among others, concerns about pleiotropy and the maternal transmission of genes to her child.
    Keywords: mendelian randomisation, maternal depression, human capital, instrumental variables, ALSPAC
    JEL: I14 J24
    Date: 2021–02
  5. By: Karbownik, Krzysztof (Emory University); Wray, Anthony (University of Southern Denmark)
    Abstract: Does childhood health capital affect long-run labor market success? We address this question using inpatient hospital admission records linked to population census records. Sibling fixed effects estimates indicate that in comparison to their brothers, boys with health deficiencies were more likely to experience downward occupational mobility relative to their father's occupational rank. This decline in occupational success across generations can be decomposed into a lower likelihood of attaining white collar status and a higher likelihood of working in unskilled jobs, which translated into lower occupational wages on average. Evidence indicates that a lower school attendance rate and higher rates of disability in both childhood and adulthood are plausible mechanisms for our findings.
    Keywords: childhood health capital, intergenerational inequality, occupational success
    JEL: I14 J62 N33
    Date: 2021–02
  6. By: Lucia Schiavon
    Abstract: Several studies indicate that children, whose mother experienced postpartum depression, are at greater risks of emotional, behavioural, cognitive and interpersonal problems later in life. However, maternal postpartum depression might influence child’s development by affecting his health outcomes. Using data from the Millennium Cohort Study (UK data service), we investigate whether maternal postpartum depression has any impact on early child health development and if differences exist when the child is the first-born. In detail, we study the effects of maternal postpartum depression on a range of potential child health diseases at ages of 3, 5, 7 and 11 years and on the number of injuries or accidents occurred at the child, for which he was taken to the hospital. Our findings show a non-negligible impact of maternal postpartum depression for first-born children on those health issues enhanced by a stressful environment: wheezing (throughout childhood) and hay fever (at early ages). At later ages (7 and 11 years), children with a mother who experienced postpartum depression are also more likely to suffer from asthma. Furthermore, results indicate a significant strong effect of maternal postpartum depression on the accident rate at the ages of 3 and 5 years (the incidence-rate ratios are of 1.205 and 1.289 respectively).
    Keywords: maternal postpartum depression, early childhood development, children health.
    Date: 2020
  7. By: Stefania Lovo (Department of Economics, University of Reading); Samantha Rawlings (Department of Economics, University of Reading)
    Abstract: This paper examines the effect of e-waste dumping sites on early child health. We focus on two major dumping sites in West Africa, in Ghana and Nigeria. We observe children born before and after the creation of these dumps, and estimate a difference-in-difference specification in which we compare outcomes of those born within the vicinity of the dump (within 11km) to those further away, before and after e-waste sites are created. We find that the e-waste sites increase neonatal and infant mortality by 4.5 and 6.5 percentage points, respectively, for children living in the proximity of the site. Event study analysis suggests that the negative effects emerge 2-3 years after the existence of the site, consistent with the gradual and systematic build up on contaminants in the environment. Preliminary analysis considering routes of exposure suggests that water pollution may drive some of the observed effects.
    Keywords: E-waste, Health, Infant Mortality, Dumping Sites
    JEL: I10 Q53 Q56 O10
    Date: 2021–02–22
  8. By: Linea Hasager (CEBI, Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen); Mia Jørgensen (Danmarks Nationalbank)
    Abstract: Does living in a low-income neighborhood have negative health consequences? We document causal neighborhood effects on health by exploiting a Spatial Dispersal Policy that quasi-randomly resettled refugees across neighborhoods from 1986-1998. The risk of developing a lifestyle related disease before 2018 increased by 5.1 percent for those allocated to the poorest third of neighborhoods compared with those in the richest third of neighborhoods. Our results suggest that interaction with neighbors and the characteristics of the immediate environment are important determinants for health outcomes. Differences in health care access, ethnic networks, and individual labor market outcomes cannot explain our findings.
    Keywords: health inequality, refugee dispersal policy, lifestyle related diseases, neighborhood effects
    JEL: J15 I12 I14 I31
    Date: 2021–02–09
  9. By: Bonsang, Eric (LISER (CEPS/INSTEAD)); Caroli, Eve (Université Paris-Dauphine)
    Abstract: We investigate the relationship between cognitive load and occupational injuries. Cognitive load is defined in the literature as a tax on bandwidth which reduces cognitive resources. We proxy cognitive load with the number of non-professional tasks that individuals perform during weekdays. The underlying assumption is that when individuals perform many of those tasks, this requires mental organization which reduces available cognitive resources. We show that being cognitively loaded is associated with an increase in the risk of occupational injury for both males and females. The effect is stronger for individuals in high-risk occupations and, among those, for low-educated workers.
    Keywords: work injury, cognitive load, time-use data
    JEL: J28 J81 D91
    Date: 2021–02
  10. By: R. Brau; M. G. Nieddu; S. Balia
    Abstract: This paper investigates how a vehicle power limit on young novice drivers impacts teen traffic accidents in Italy. First introduced in 2011, the reform prevents drivers from using high-performance vehicles during their first license year. We combine rich administrative data on severe accidents over the period 2006-2016 with the driving license census to assess whether undergoing the power limit lowers the likelihood of causing a traffic accident. Our difference- in-difference estimates – we leverage on the between-cohort differences in the exposure to the reform – reveal that the power limit reduces road accidents per capita by about 18%, and accidents per licensee by 13%. The effect is entirely determined by a drop in accidents caused by above-limit vehicles and is primarily driven by fewer speed violations. Moreover, the beneficial impact of the one-year restriction period persists even after its expiration. Our findings highlight the importance of policies that, instead of directly targeting risky behaviours, are aimed at reducing exposure to high-risk settings. In frameworks where deterrence policies and screening mechanisms are hard to implement and maintain, these policies stand out as an effective, yet feasible strategy to increase teen road safety.
    Keywords: youth road accidents;risky behaviours;risk exposure;graduated licensing;driving restriction
    Date: 2021
  11. By: , AISDL
    Abstract: Increasing operational efficiency is an objective relevant for all institutions, but it is essential in public entities and even more in public health systems because of the number of resources they consume and their impact on general welfare. This research analyses the effect that CEOs’ gender has on the operational efficiency of the entities they manage. Despite the impact that the management team and notably the CEO have on the development of institutions, studies on their effect on performance are practically non-existent, especially for public organisations. We have used data from acute care hospital trusts belonging to the English National Health System (NHS) concerning its development. The results were obtained from a two-stage analysis. First, the entities’ economic efficiency and health/social efficiency (two operational efficiency measures) were evaluated using two data envelopment analysis (DEA) models. Secondly, the results have been regressed with the CEOs’ gender. The results obtained are robust and consistent, revealing that male CEOs have greater performance than female CEOs. This result provides insight into determining features that relate to operational efficiency, which it is of interest to the research and policymakers.
    Date: 2021–02–17
  12. By: Sriubaite, Ieva
    Abstract: This paper analyses the effects of hospital closures in Germany in the context of emergency medical care for patients with acute myocardial infarction or hemorrhagic stroke. Using a comprehensive inpatient care data, I evaluate the extent of the impact of hospital closures between 2006 and 2012 on geographical healthcare access and several patient clinical outcomes. To minimize bias from the potential endogeneity between the hospital quality and market structure, I employ an instrumental variable strategy and build a strong and highly relevant instrument in the context of municipal politics. Using collected data on the turnout of each local election in Germany, I compute a measure of concentration in political power that is estimated by the winning margin of the largest centre-right political party in Germany against the opposition. My findings suggest that: first, while patients living in closure-affected areas face worse healthcare access, this does not result in lower survival for acute medical cases; second, that a hospital closure mainly affects the access for rural residents and stimulates the efficiency of hospitals located in the more densely populated areas; and political power in the area plays an important role in shaping hospital's future in the local market.
    Keywords: Hospital closure,quality of care,municipality election,instrumental variablee
    JEL: I11 I15 I18 I19
    Date: 2021
  13. By: Guojun He (Division of Social Science, Division of Environment and Sustainability, Department of Economics, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.); Takanao Tanaka (Division of Social Science, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.)
    Abstract: Following the Fukushima nuclear accident, Japan gradually shut down all its nuclear power plants, causing a country-wide power shortage. In response, the government launched large-scale campaigns that aimed to reduce summer electricity consumption by as much as 15% in some regions. Because electricity use plays a key role in mitigating climate impacts, such policies could potentially damage the population’s health. Exploiting the different electricity- saving targets set by different regions, we show that the reduction in electricity consumption indeed increased heat-related mortality, particularly during extremely hot days. This unintended consequence suggests that there exists a trade-off between climate adaptation and energy saving.
    Keywords: Electricity Saving, Climate Change Adaptation, Fukushima Accident, Extreme Weather
    JEL: Q48 Q54 O12 I1
    Date: 2019–09
  14. By: Emmanuel Coffie; Sindre Duedahl; Frank Proske
    Abstract: In modern life insurance, Markov processes in continuous time on a finite or at least countable state space have been over the years an important tool for the modelling of the states of an insured. Motivated by applications in disability insurance, we propose in this paper a model for insurance states based on Markov jump processes with more general state spaces. We use this model to derive a new type of Thiele's differential equation which e.g. allows for a consistent calculation of reserves in disability insurance based on two-parameter continuous time rehabilitation rates.
    Date: 2021–02
  15. By: Hermann Garden (OECD); Naomi Hawkins (University of Exeter); David Winickoff (OECD)
    Abstract: Genomic and biobank collaborative platforms hold significant promise for the development of new discoveries and therapies. This paper explores the complex technical, legal and business challenges arising from genomics and biobanks, and brings together ideas and best practices from major national and international platforms, and from a diverse range of experts. The global sharing of biological samples and genomic data has been critical for accelerating our understanding of the biology and spread of COVID-19, and for the development of vaccines and diagnostics. Although some of the policy challenges in the field are well known, they have been reconfigured by the digitalisation of health innovation combined with the increasing complexity and volume of data, the push for global collaboration, and the growing awareness of ethical, legal, and social implications.
    Keywords: biobanks, collaborative platforms, genomics, governance, health, innovation policy, sustainability
    Date: 2021–03–01
  16. By: Atul Gupta; Sabrina T. Howell; Constantine Yannelis; Abhinav Gupta
    Abstract: The past two decades have seen a rapid increase in Private Equity (PE) investment in healthcare, a sector in which intensive government subsidy and market frictions could lead high-powered for-profit incentives to be misaligned with the social goal of affordable, quality care. This paper studies the effects of PE ownership on patient welfare at nursing homes. With administrative patient-level data, we use a within-facility differences-in-differences design to address non-random targeting of facilities. We use an instrumental variables strategy to control for the selection of patients into nursing homes. Our estimates show that PE ownership increases the short-term mortality of Medicare patients by 10%, implying 20,150 lives lost due to PE ownership over our twelve-year sample period. This is accompanied by declines in other measures of patient well-being, such as lower mobility, while taxpayer spending per patient episode increases by 11%. We observe operational changes that help to explain these effects, including declines in nursing staff and compliance with standards. Finally, we document a systematic shift in operating costs post-acquisition toward non-patient care items such as monitoring fees, interest, and lease payments.
    JEL: G3 G32 G34 G38 I1 I18
    Date: 2021–02
  17. By: Ananyev, Maxim; Poyker, Michael; Tian, Yuan
    Abstract: We document a causal effect of conservative Fox News Channel in the United States on physical distancing during COVID-19 pandemic. We measure county-level mobility covering all U.S. states and District of Columbia produced by GPS pings to 15-17 million smartphones and zip-code-level mobility using Facebook location data. Then, using the historical position of Fox News Channel in the cable lineup as the source of exogenous variation, we show that increased exposure to Fox News led to a smaller reduction in distance traveled and smaller increase in the probability to stay home after the national emergency declaration in the United States. Our results show that slanted media can have a harmful effect on containment efforts during a pandemic by affecting people's behaviour.
    Keywords: Mobility,Media Bias,Fox News,COVID-19
    JEL: D1 D7 I31 Z13
    Date: 2021
  18. By: Amrita Ahuja; Susan Athey; Arthur Baker; Eric Budish; Juan Camilo Castillo; Rachel Glennerster; Scott Duke Kominers; Michael Kremer; Jean Nahrae Lee; Canice Prendergast; Christopher M. Snyder; Alex Tabarrok; Brandon Joel Tan; Witold Więcek
    Abstract: Vaccinating the world’s population quickly in a pandemic has enormous health and economic benefits. We analyze the problem faced by governments in determining the scale and structure of procurement for vaccines. We analyze alternative approaches to procurement. We find that if the goal is to accelerate the vaccine delivery timetable, buyers should directly fund manufacturing capacity and shoulder most of the risk of failure, while maintaining some direct incentives for speed. We analyzed the optimal portfolio of vaccine investments for countries with different characteristics as well as the implications for international cooperation. Our analysis, considered in light of the experience of 2020, suggests lessons for future pandemics.
    JEL: D02 H12 I11 I18 O19 O31
    Date: 2021–02
  19. By: Bodenstein, M.; Corsetti, G.; Guerrieri, L.
    Abstract: Based on a standard epidemiological model, we derive and apply empirical tests of the hypothesis that contacts, as proxied by mobility data, have an effect on the spread of the coronavirus epidemic, as summarized by the reproduction rates, and on economic activity, as captured by subsequent initial claims to unemployment benefits. We show that changes in mobility through the first quarters of 2020, be it spontaneous or mandated, had significant effects on both the spread of the coronavirus and the economy. Strikingly, we find that spontaneous social distancing was no less costly than mandated social distancing. Our results suggest that the rebound in economic activity when stay-at-home orders were lifted was primarily driven by the improvement in epidemiological parameters. In other words, without the reduction in the reproduction rate of the coronavirus, we could have expected a doubling down on spontaneous social distancing.
    Keywords: infectious disease, epidemic, recession, COVID-19
    JEL: E10 E30 I10
    Date: 2021–02–25
  20. By: Andrew Atkeson; Karen A. Kopecky; Tao Zha
    Abstract: We show that a simple model of COVID-19 that incorporates feedback from disease prevalence to disease transmission through an endogenous response of human behavior does a remarkable job fitting the main features of the data on the growth rates of daily deaths observed across a large number countries and states of the United States from March to November of 2020. This finding, however, suggests a new empirical puzzle. Using an accounting procedure akin to that used for Business Cycle Accounting as in Chari et al. (2007), we show that when the parameters of the behavioral response of transmission to disease prevalence are estimated from the early phase of the epidemic, very large wedges that shift disease transmission rates holding disease prevalence fixed are required both across regions and within a region over time for the model to match the data on deaths from COVID-19 as an equilibrium outcome exactly. We show that these wedges correspond to large shifts in model forecasts for the long-run attack rate of COVID-19 both across locations and over time. Future research should focus on understanding the sources in these wedges in the relationship between disease prevalence and disease transmission.
    Keywords: COVID-19; Behavior; Epidemics
    JEL: E10 E17 I10 I18
    Date: 2021–02–04
  21. By: Caulkins, Jonathan P.; Grass, Dieter; Feichtinger, Gustav; Hartl, Richard; Kort, Peter M.; Prskawetz, Alexia; Seidl, Andrea; Wrzaczek, Stefan
    Abstract: Most nations have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by locking down parts of their economies to reduce infectious spread. The optimal timing of the beginning and end of the lockdown, together with its intensity, is determined by the tradeoff between economic losses and improved health outcomes. These choices can be modeled within the framework of an optimal control model that recognizes the nonlinear dynamics of epidemic spread and the increased risks when infection rates surge beyond the healthcare system's capacity. Past work has shown that within such a framework very different strategies may be optimal ranging from short to long and even multiple lockdowns, and small changes in the valuation placed on preventing a premature death may lead to quite different strategies becoming optimal. There even exist parameter constellations for which two or more very different strategies can be optimal. Here we revisit those crucial questions with revised parameters reflecting the greater infectivity of the recently detected "UK variant" of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and describe how the new variant may affect levels of mortality and other outcomes.
    Date: 2021
  22. By: Lange, Martin; Monscheuer, Ole
    Abstract: This study analyzes the impact of COVID-19 deniers on the spread of COVID-19 in Germany. In a first step, we establish a link between regional proxies of COVID-19 deniers and infection rates. We then estimate the causal impact of large anti-lockdown protests on the spread of COVID-19 using an event study framework. Employing novel data on bus stops of travel companies specialized in driving protesters to these gatherings, and exploiting the timing of two large-scale demonstrations in November 2020, we find sizable increases in infection rates in protesters' origin regions after these demonstrations. Individual-level evidence supports the main results by documenting that COVID-19 deniers engage less in health protection behavior. Our results contribute to the debate about the public health costs of individual behavior that has detrimental externalities for the society.
    Keywords: COVID-19 deniers,protests,public health
    JEL: I18 I12 D62 P16
    Date: 2021
  23. By: Iván Aranzales; Ho Fai Chan; Reiner Eichenberger; Rainer Hegselmann; David Stadelmann; Benno Torgler
    Abstract: The challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic have prompted scientists from different fields to evaluate whether the use of immunity certificates would allow for a safer and faster return to normality. This policy has been recently implemented by Israel (Green Pass) and similar legislation is currently being proposed at the European Commission. We show that there is a high level of scientific consensus regarding the benefits of such a passport for public health and the economy, while its effects on fairness and inequality remain controversial. In general, it is essential to understand the opinions of the scientific community regarding this controversial topic, so we may address shortcomings and tackle both the current and any possible future pandemics humanity may face.
    Date: 2021–03
  24. By: Andrew Atkeson
    Abstract: I present a behavioral epidemiological model of the evolution of the COVID epidemic in the United States and the United Kingdom over the past 12 months. The model includes the introduction of a new, more contagious variant in the UK in early fall and the US in mid December. The model is behavioral in that activity, and thus transmission, responds endogenously to the daily death rate. I show that with only seasonal variation in the transmission rate and pandemic fatigue modeled as a one-time reduction in the semi-elasticity of the transmission rate to the daily death rate late in the year, the model can reproduce the evolution of daily and cumulative COVID deaths in the both countries from Feb 15, 2020 to the present remarkably well. I find that most of the end-of-year surge in deaths in both the US and the UK was generated by pandemic fatigue and not the new variant of the virus. I then generate forecasts for the evolution of the epidemic over the next two years with continuing seasonality, pandemic fatigue, and spread of the new variant.
    Keywords: COVID-19; Behavior; Epidemics
    JEL: E10 E17 I10 I18
    Date: 2021–02–04
  25. By: David Bardey; Manuel Fernández; Alexis Gravel
    Abstract: Using detailed daily information covering 100 countries and an event-study approach, we estimate the short run effects of implementing Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs) on the spread of the COVID-19 virus at the early stages of the pandemic. We study the impact of two NPIs -stay-at-home requirements and workplace closures - on three outcomes: daily residential and workplace mobility; the daily growth rate of cases; and the daily growth rate of fatalities. Acknowledging that we observe a mobility reduction in countries before they implemented NPIs, we find that immediately after NPIs were implemented, mobility declined by 0.2 standard deviation (SD), and two weeks afterwards it was down by 0.7 SDs. 25 days after the NPIs were implemented, the daily growth rate of cases and deaths was lower by 10% and 8.4% respectively. Our results reveal that between 53 and 72 percent of the reduction of the daily growth rate of cases and deaths associated with a reduction of mobility is caused by NPIs.
    Keywords: COVID-19, Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions, Pandemic.
    JEL: I12 I18 I38
    Date: 2021–02–03
  26. By: Meng, Lina; Zhou, Yinggang; Zhang, Ruige; Ye, Zhen; Xia, Senmao; Cerulli, Giovanni; Casady, Carter; Härdle, Wolfgang Karl
    Abstract: Many countries have taken non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and push the recovery of national economies. This paper investigates the effect of these control measures by comparing five selected countries, China, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States. There is evidence that the degree of early intervention and efficacy of control measures are essential to contain the pandemic. China stands out because its early and strictly enforced interventions are effective to contain the virus spread. Furthermore, we quantify the causal effect of different control measures on COVID-19 transmission and work resumption in China. Surprisingly, digital contact tracing and delegating clear responsibility to the local community appear to be the two most effective policy measures for disease containment and work resumption. Public information campaigns and social distancing also help to flatten the peak significantly. Moreover, material logistics that prevent medical supply shortages provide an additional conditioning factor for disease containment and work resumption. Fiscal policy, however, is less effective at the early to middle stage of the pandemic.
    Keywords: COVID-19,coronavirus
    JEL: C00
    Date: 2020
  27. By: Iván Aranzales; Ho Fai Chan; Reiner Eichenberger; Rainer Hegselmann; David Stadelmann; Benno Torgler
    Abstract: We designed and implemented a survey to capture what scientists from around the world think about immunity certification. Responses from 12,738 scientists were captured and their distribution was tabulated by participants in health science and other fields. Half of the scientists surveyed agree that a potential immunity passport program will be good for public health (50.2%) and the economy (54.4%), with 19.1% and 15.4% of participants disagree, respectively. A significant proportion of scientists raised concerns about immunity certification over fairness to others (36.5%) and social inequality (45.5%). There is little consensus in the different aspects of immunity passport among scientists.
    Date: 2021–02
  28. By: Delgado Narro, Augusto Ricardo
    Abstract: This study analyzes the stigma model under the context of COVID-19 by using evidence of the Japanese prefectures and the theoretical model proposed by Katafuchi et al. (2020). The authors propose that people refrain from going out under the declaration of emergency because of a psychological cost, which is composed of two elements: infection risk and a social stigma. In their paper, the stigma works as a force to encourage people to stay at home with the implied purpose of protecting community health. Nevertheless, the new evidence we present, using data of the Go to travel campaign, suggests that the stigma proposed by the authors works when there is a public policy that encourages people to stay at home (emergency state); however, it fails when the public policy encourage human mobility (Go to travel). In other words, the stigma is not independent of the public policy. For this purpose, we use a panel data model with information on prefectural mobility, emergency statement dummy, Go to travel campaign dummy, and COVID-19 daily positive rates of infections.
    Keywords: COVID-19, Stigma, Self-restraint behavior, Go to Travel
    JEL: D6 D7 Z18
    Date: 2021–02–26
  29. By: Miguel St.Aubyn
    Abstract: The post-Christmas surge of Covid-19 cases in Portugal is empirically estimated using a nonlinear exponential growth equation. The `soft’ lockdown, implemented on 15th January is shown to induce an initial inflexion point from which cases decline, and the subsequent `hard’ lockdown from the 22nd January reinforces this downwards trend. Taking no action would have led to an estimated 20 000 cases per day in the week ending the 15th February. The effect of the soft lockdown, strengthened by school closures and a harder lockdown, avoided this scenario, and curtailed the number of daily new cases to less than 3000 by week ending the 15th February. It is estimated that without the adoption of school closures and harder lockdown measures, the estimated cases in Portugal would be approximately 9700 per day.
    Keywords: COVID-19, lockdown, Portugal, school closures
    Date: 2021–02
  30. By: Graziella Bertocchi; Arcangelo Dimico
    Abstract: Discussion on the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on African Americans has been at center stage since the outbreak of the epidemic in the United States. To present day, however, lack of race-disaggregated individual data has prevented a rigorous assessment of the extent of this phenomenon and the reasons why blacks may be particularly vulnerable to the disease. Using individual and georeferenced death data collected daily by the Cook County Medical Examiner, we provide first evidence that race does affect COVID-19 outcomes. The data confirm that in Cook County blacks are overrepresented in terms of COVID-19 related deaths since|as of June 16, 2020|they constitute 35 percent of the dead, so that they are dying at a rate 1.3 times higher than their population share. Furthermore, by combining the spatial distribution of mortality with the 1930s redlining maps for the Chicago area, we obtain a block group level panel dataset of weekly deaths over the period January 1, 2020-June 16, 2020, over which we establish that, after the outbreak of the epidemic, historically lower-graded neigh- borhoods display a sharper increase in mortality, driven by blacks, while no pre- treatment di erences are detected. Thus, we uncover a persistence influence of the racial segregation induced by the discriminatory lending practices of the 1930s, by way of a diminished resilience of the black population to the shock represented by the COVID-19 outbreak. A heterogeneity analysis reveals that the main channels of transmission are socioeconomic status and household composition, whose influence is magnified in combination with a higher black share.
    Keywords: COVID-19, deaths, blacks, redlining, vulnerability, Cook County, Chicago.
    Date: 2020
  31. By: Christelle Baunez (Aix-Marseille Univ, CNRS, Institut Neurosciences Timone); Michaël Degoulet (Aix-Marseille Univ, CNRS, Institut Neurosciences Timone); Stéphane Luchini (Aix-Marseille Univ, CNRS, AMSE, Marseille, France.); Patrick A. Pintus (Aix-Marseille Univ, CNRS, AMSE, Marseille, France.)
    Abstract: Even though much has been learned about the new pathogen SARS-CoV-2 since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of uncertainty remains. In this paper we argue that what is important to know under uncertainty is whether harm accelerates and whether health policies achieve deceleration of harm. For this, we need to see cases in relation to diagnostic effort and not to look at indicators based on cases only, such as a number of widely used epidemiological indicators, including the reproduction number, do. To do so overlooks a crucial dimension, namely the fact that the best we can know about cases will depend on some welldefined strategy of diagnostic effort, such as testing in the case of COVID-19. We will present a newly developed indicator to observe harm, the acceleration index, which is essentially an elasticity of cases in relation to tests. We will discuss what efficiency of testing means and propose that the corresponding health policy goal should be to find ever fewer cases with an ever-greater diagnostic effort. Easy and low-threshold testing will also be a means to give back people’s sovereignty to lead their life in an “open” as opposed to “locked-down” society.
    Keywords: uncertainty, acceleration index, anti-fragility, reproduction factor, test strategy, sovereignty
    Date: 2021–02
  32. By: Eduardo Gutiérrez (Banco de España); Enrique Moral-Benito (Banco de España)
    Abstract: In order to curb the advance of COVID-19, Royal Decree-Law 10/2020 of 29 March 2020 stipulated the temporary shutdown of all activities considered non-essential between 30 March and 9 April 2020. This paper uses municipal-level information to quantify the short-term effects of this measure both on employment and on containing the pandemic. Specifically, we analyse the relationship between the share of firms forced to shut down in each municipality and changes in Social Security registrations along with new COVID-19 cases in April. The results suggest that those municipalities most affected by the non-essential activity shutdown endured higher reductions in employment but, at the same time, they also witnessed a lower propagation of the pandemic during April. Finally, other characteristics such as ageing, colder temperatures, higher population density and proximity to the provincial capital are found to be associated with a higher incidence of COVID-19 at the municipality level.
    Keywords: COVID-19, pandemic, employment, Spanish municipalities
    JEL: I1 J21 C53
    Date: 2020–08
  33. By: Annika Camehl (Erasmus University Rotterdam); Malte Rieth (DIW Berlin (German Institute for Economic Research))
    Abstract: We study the dynamic impact of Covid-19, economic mobility, and containment policy shocks. We use Bayesian panel structural vector autoregressions with daily data for 44 countries, identified through sign and zero restrictions. Incidence and mobility shocks raise cases and deaths significantly for two months. Restrictive policy shocks lower mobility immediately, cases after one week, and deaths after three weeks. Non-pharmaceutical interventions explain half of the variation in mobility, cases, and deaths worldwide. These flattened the pandemic curve, while deepening the global mobility recession. The policy tradeoff is 1 p.p. less mobility per day for 9% fewer deaths after two months.
    Keywords: Epidemics, general equilibrium, non-pharmaceutical interventions, structural vector autoregressions, coronavirus, Bayesian analysis, panel data
    JEL: I18 C32 E32
    Date: 2021–02–24

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