nep-hea New Economics Papers
on Health Economics
Issue of 2021‒03‒22
27 papers chosen by
Nicolas R. Ziebarth
Cornell University

  1. CEO Stress, Aging, and Death By Mark Borgschulte; Marius Guenzel; Canyao Liu; Ulrike Malmendier
  2. Cognitive Impairment and Prevalence of Memory-Related Diagnoses among U.S. Older Adults By Qian, Yuting; Chen, Xi; Tang, Diwen; Kelley, Amy S.; Li, Jing
  3. Adverse Childhood Circumstances and Cognitive Function in Middle-Aged and Older Chinese Adults: Lower Level or Faster Decline? By Lin, Zhuoer; Chen, Xi
  4. Maternal depression and child human capital: A genetic instrumental-variable approach By Giorgia Menta; Anthony Lepinteur; Andrew Clark; Simone Ghislandi; Conchita Ambrosio
  5. Anemia, Diet, and Cognitive Development: Impact of Health Information on Diet Quality and Child Nutrition in Rural India By Krämer, Marion; Kumar, Santosh; Vollmer, Sebastian
  6. Paying Adolescents for Health Screenings Works By Martin Halla; Gerald Pruckner; Thomas Schober
  7. The Effect of Absolute versus Relative Temperature on Health and the Role of Social Care By Masiero, Giuliano; Mazzonna, Fabrizio; Santarossa, Michael
  8. The Diffusion of Health Care Fraud: A Network Analysis By A. James O'Malley; Thomas A. Bubolz; Jonathan S. Skinner
  9. The impact of harmonising Australia’s workplace health and safety laws on workers compensation By Bilgrami, Anam; Cutler, Henry; Sinha, Kompal
  10. Performance Pay and Alcohol Use in Germany By Mehrzad B. Baktash; John S. Heywood; Uwe Jirjahn
  11. Stress and Retirement By Raquel Fonseca; Hugo Morin; Ana I. Moro-Egido
  12. On the Distribution of Estates and the Distribution of Wealth: Evidence from the Dead By Yonatan Berman; Salvatore Morelli
  13. How Do Different Frames Affect Public Support for Climate Change Policy: Evidence from a Multi-Country Conjoint Study By Dasandi, Niheer; Graham, Hilary; Hudson, David; Mikhaylov, Slava Jankin; vanHeerde-Hudson, Jennifer; Watts, Nick
  14. Licensing Life-Saving Drugs for Developing Countries: Evidence from the Medicines Patent Pool By Alberto Galasso; Mark Schankerman
  15. A Welfare Analysis of Competitive Insurance Markets with Vertical Differentiation and Adverse Selection By W. Bentley MacLeod
  16. SCARE: when Economics meets Epidemiology with COVID-19, first wave By André de Palma; Nathalie Picard; Stef Proost
  17. Pandemic Meets Pollution: Poor Air Quality Increases Deaths by COVID-19 By Ingo E. Isphording; Nico Pestel
  18. A Dynamic Structural Model of Virus Diffusion and Network Production: A First Report By Victor Aguirregabiria; Jiaying Gu; Yao Luo; Pedro Mira
  19. How effective is community quarantine in the Philippines? A quasi-experimental analysis By Pajaron, Marjorie C.; Vasquez, Glacer Niño A.
  20. Addressing the COVID-19 Pandemic: Comparing Alternative Value Frameworks By Ferranna, Maddalena; Sevilla, J.P.; Bloom, David E.
  21. Alleviating COVID-19 Inequality By Julia M. Puaschunder
  22. The Impact of Mass Antigen Testing for COVID-19 on the Prevalence of the Disease By Kahanec, Martin; Lafférs, Lukáš; Schmidpeter, Bernhard
  23. COVID-19 Impact on Micro, Small, and Medium-Sized Enterprises under the Lockdown: Evidence from a Rapid Survey in the Philippines By Shinozaki, Shigehiro; Rao, Lakshman N.
  24. The impact of COVID-19 on indigenous peoples in Latin America (Abya Yala): Between invisibility and collective resistance By -
  25. Policies to Help the Working Class in the Aftermath of COVID-19: Lessons from the Great Recession By Burkhauser, Richard V.; Corinth, Kevin; Holtz-Eakin, Douglas
  26. Globalization and Pandemics By Pol Antras; Stephen J Redding; Esteban Rossi Hansberg
  27. How to measure the territorial economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in contexts with scarce regional data? A methodological proposal and application for Argentina (April-September 2020) By Niembro, Andrés; Calá, Carla Daniela

  1. By: Mark Borgschulte; Marius Guenzel; Canyao Liu; Ulrike Malmendier
    Abstract: We estimate the long-term effects of experiencing high levels of job demands on the mortality and aging of CEOs. The estimation exploits variation in takeover protection and industry crises. First, using hand-collected data on the dates of birth and death for 1,605 CEOs of large, publicly-listed U.S. firms, we estimate the resulting changes in mortality. The hazard estimates indicate that CEOs’ lifespan increases by two years when insulated from market discipline via anti-takeover laws, and decreases by 1.5 years in response to an industry-wide downturn. Second, we apply neural-network based machine-learning techniques to assess visible signs of aging in pictures of CEOs. We estimate that exposure to a distress shock during the Great Recession increases CEOs’ apparent age by one year over the next decade. Our findings imply significant health costs of managerial stress, also relative to known health risks.
    JEL: G01 G3 I10 J01
    Date: 2021–03
  2. By: Qian, Yuting; Chen, Xi; Tang, Diwen; Kelley, Amy S.; Li, Jing
    Abstract: Cognitive impairment creates significant challenges to health and well-being of the fast-growing aging population. Early recognition of cognitive impairment may confer important advantages, allowing for diagnosis and appropriate treatment, education, psychosocial support, and improved decision-making regarding life planning, health care, and financial matters. Yet the prevalence of memory-related diagnoses among older adults with early symptoms of cognitive impairment is unknown. Using 2000-2014 Health and Retirement Survey - Medicare linked data, we leveraged within-individual variation in a longitudinal cohort design to examine the relationship between incident cognitive impairment and receipt of diagnosis among American older adults. Receipt of a memory-related diagnosis was determined by ICD-9-CM codes. Incident cognitive impairment was assessed using the modified Telephone Interview of Cognitive Status (TICS). We found overall low prevalence of early memory-related diagnosis, or high rate of underdiagnosis, among older adults showing symptoms of cognitive impairment, especially among non-whites and socioeconomically disadvantaged subgroups. Our findings call for targeted interventions to improve the rate of early diagnosis, especially among vulnerable populations.
    Keywords: cognitive impairment,cognitive aging,dementia,Medicare,memory-related diagnosis
    JEL: I11 I14 J14 I18 R20
    Date: 2021
  3. By: Lin, Zhuoer (Yale University); Chen, Xi (Yale University)
    Abstract: We examine the long-term relationship between childhood circumstances and cognitive aging. In particular, we differentiate the level of cognitive deficit from the rate of cognitive decline. Applying a linear mixed-effect model to three waves of China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Surveys (CHARLS 2011, 2013, 2015) and matching cognitive outcomes to CHARLS Life History Survey (2014), we find that key domains of childhood circumstances, including family socioeconomic status (SES), neighborhood cohesion, friendship and health conditions, are significantly associated with both the level of cognitive deficit and the rate of decline. In contrast, childhood neighborhood safety only affects the level of cognitive deficit. Childhood relationship with mother only affects the rate of cognitive decline. The effects of adverse childhood circumstances are generally larger on level of cognitive deficit than on rate of cognitive decline. Moreover, education plays a more important role in mediating the relationships compared to other later-life factors. These findings suggest that exposure to disadvantaged childhood circumstances can exacerbate cognitive deficit as well as cognitive decline over time, which may be partially ameliorated by educational attainment.
    Keywords: childhood circumstances, life course factors, cognitive aging, education
    JEL: I14 I24 J13 J14
    Date: 2021–03
  4. By: Giorgia Menta (University of Luxembourg [Luxembourg]); Anthony Lepinteur (University of Luxembourg [Luxembourg]); Andrew Clark (PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement); Simone Ghislandi (Bocconi University [Milan, Italy]); Conchita Ambrosio (University of Luxembourg [Luxembourg])
    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
    Date: 2021–02
  5. By: Krämer, Marion (German Institute for Development Evaluation); Kumar, Santosh (Sam Houston State University); Vollmer, Sebastian (University of Goettingen)
    Abstract: Lack of information about health risks may limit the adoption of improved nutritional and healthy behavior. This paper studies the effect of a nutrition information intervention on household dietary behavior, hemoglobin levels, and cognitive outcomes of children in rural India. Using experimental data and regression discontinuity design that exploits the exogenous cutoff of hemoglobin level for anemia, we find statistically insignificant treatment effects on dietary improvements, child health, and cognitive outcomes of children. Our findings suggest that light-touch nutrition information alone, even when parents are informed about the health risk of their children, may not promote healthy behavior and factors other than information might constrain households in making nutritional investments for their children.
    Keywords: cognition, anemia, child health, health information, regression discontinuity, India
    Date: 2021–03
  6. By: Martin Halla; Gerald Pruckner; Thomas Schober
    Abstract: With regard to their future health, adolescents are at a critical stage. Previous evaluations have shown that health screenings, counseling and other intervention programs during this phase of life are important, in particular for those with a low socio economic background. Unfortunately, adolescents tend to have little interest in preventive programs. We have designed a field-experiment to evaluate the effectiveness of financial incentives to promote the participation in health screenings. Our study comprises more than 10;000 participants, who we observe in high quality administrative data from Austria. The treatment group received a e40 shopping voucher if they participated in an age-specific health screening. On average the financial incentive increased the likelihood of participation by 280 %. Treatment effects are comparably larger for children in families with a higher socio-economic status, and of parents with a revealed preference for secondary health prevention.
    Keywords: Health screenings, financial incentives, adolescence, early intervention, secondary prevention.
    JEL: I12 J13 I18 I14 H51 H75
    Date: 2021–02
  7. By: Masiero, Giuliano (USI Università della Svizzera Italiana); Mazzonna, Fabrizio (USI Università della Svizzera Italiana); Santarossa, Michael (University of Pavia)
    Abstract: We investigate the effect of extreme temperatures on mortality and emergency hospital admissions, and whether local social care allows to mitigate their adverse effects. We merge monthly administrative data on mortality and hospital discharge from Italian municipalities for the period 2001-2015 with daily data on local weather conditions, and yearly data on disaggregated municipal expenditure. We compare two different measures of temperature shocks, the standard measure based on absolute levels and another measure based on deviations from local mean temperatures. We find that the former measure is more effective in capturing the adverse effects of shocks on health outcomes. In particular, extremely hot and cold days increase mortality rates and hospital admission rates for both cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. These effects are mostly driven by the oldest age group and partially by young children. Then, we report evidence of a mitigating effect of social expenditure on the impact of extremely hot and cold days on both emergency hospital admission and mortality rates. A back of the envelope calculation suggests that the additional social care expenditure is fully compensated by the benefits arising from the lower impact of temperature shocks.
    Keywords: hospital admissions, mortality, social expenditure, temperature shocks
    JEL: I18 Q51 Q54
    Date: 2021–03
  8. By: A. James O'Malley; Thomas A. Bubolz; Jonathan S. Skinner
    Abstract: Many studies have examined the diffusion of health care innovations but less is known about the diffusion of health care fraud. In this paper, we consider the diffusion of potentially fraudulent Medicare home health care billing in the United States during 2002-16, with a focus on the 21 hospital referral regions (HRRs) covered by local Department of Justice anti-fraud “strike force” offices. We hypothesize that patient-sharing across home health care agencies provides a mechanism for the rapid diffusion of fraudulent strategies; we measure such activity using a novel bipartite mixture (or BMIX) network index. First, we find a remarkable increase in home health care activity between 2002 and 2009 in some but not all regions; average billing per Medicare enrollees in McAllen TX and Miami increased by $2,127 and $2,422 compared to a $289 increase in other HRRs not targeted by the Department of Justice. Second, we establish that the HRR-level BMIX (but not other network measures) was a strong predictor of above-average home care expenditures across HRRs. Third, within HRRs, agencies sharing more patients with other agencies were predicted to increase spending the following year. Finally, the initial 2002 BMIX index was a strong predictor of subsequent changes in HRR-level home health billing during 2002-9. These results highlight the importance of bipartite network structure in diffusion and in infection models more generally.
    JEL: I1 K42
    Date: 2021–03
  9. By: Bilgrami, Anam; Cutler, Henry; Sinha, Kompal
    Abstract: We analyse the impact of harmonising workplace health and safety laws in Australia on workplace injury and disease by estimating effects on the probability of receiving workers compensation in the past year. The introduction of the reform in all but two Australian states created a unique, region-based natural experiment. We exploit this regional variation to perform difference-in-difference estimation on a panel data sample of workers from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey, accounting for a diverse range of individuallevel covariates associated with workers compensation claiming. We find harmonisation reduced the probability of receiving workers compensation in treated states by 0.9 percentage points (p=0.047). This is likely to have resulted from increased enforcement activity by state governments and increased managerial focus on improving workplace health and safety. Subgroup analysis suggests the high-risk construction industry had a larger and more significant reduction of 2.9-3.6 percentage points (p=0.030). We suggest the construction industry had a greater potential for achieving reductions in workplace injury and disease due to a higher level of underlying workplace risk and the introduction of construction specific legislative requirements imposed by harmonisation.
    Keywords: workplace health and safety,Australia,workers compensation,causal analysis,workplace injury
    JEL: D04 I18 J28 J38 L52
    Date: 2021
  10. By: Mehrzad B. Baktash; John S. Heywood; Uwe Jirjahn
    Abstract: We study the link between performance pay and alcohol use in Germany, a country with mandated health insurance. Previous research from the US argues that alcohol use as a form of “self-medication” may be a natural response to the stress and uncertainty of performance pay when many workers do not have access to health insurance. We find that the likelihood of consuming each of four types of alcohol (beer, wine, spirits, and mixed drinks) is higher for those receiving performance pay even controlling for a long list of economic, social and personality characteristics and in sensible IV estimates. We also show that the total number of types of alcohol consumed is larger for those receiving performance pay. We conclude that even in the face of mandated health insurance, the link found in the US persists in Germany.
    Keywords: Performance Pay; Alcohol; Stress
    JEL: I12 J33
    Date: 2021
  11. By: Raquel Fonseca; Hugo Morin; Ana I. Moro-Egido
    Abstract: This paper investigates the bi-directional causal relationship between retirement and stress. We use PSID data for the period 2007-2015. Using a simultaneous equations approach, we find that a rise in stress increases the probability to retire by roughly 15.4 percentage points, while retirement decreases stress by 34.5 percentage points. We find the same results when we disaggregate by individuals’ characteristics, but the former effect is stronger for males, for people working in typical blue-collar jobs, and for people whose wealth is below the mean; while the latter is stronger for males, for white-collar workers, for people whose wealth is above the mean, and for white individuals. We show that official retirement ages are a strong instrument for actual retirement age, and that lagged physical activity levels are a non-linear instrument for perceived stress. We also confirm that objective measures of mental health are a strong instrument for perceived stress.
    Keywords: Stress,Retirement,Physical Activity,Simultaneous Equation Models,
    JEL: C30 J26
    Date: 2021–03–11
  12. By: Yonatan Berman; Salvatore Morelli
    Abstract: Detailed information about the distribution of estates left at death has commonly served as the basis for the estimation of wealth distributions among the living via the mortality multiplier method. The application of detailed mortality rates by demographics and other determinants of mortality is crucial for obtaining an unbiased representation of the wealth distribution of the living. Yet, in this paper we suggest that a simplified mortality multiplier method, derived using average mortality rates and aggregate tabulations by estate size, may be sufficient to derive compelling estimates of wealth concentration. We show that the application of homogeneous multipliers leads to estimates that are close in level and trend to the concentration of wealth derived in the existing literature with the detailed mortality multiplier method for a variety of countries. The use of mortality rates graduated by estate size does not confute this finding. We also derive the general formal conditions for the similarity between the distributions of wealth of the living and estates at death and discuss the main caveats. These findings may unlock a wide array of aggregate estate tabulations, previously thought to be unusable, for estimating historical trends of wealth concentration.
    JEL: D3 H2 N3
    Date: 2021–03
  13. By: Dasandi, Niheer; Graham, Hilary; Hudson, David; Mikhaylov, Slava Jankin; vanHeerde-Hudson, Jennifer; Watts, Nick
    Abstract: This study tests the effects of different framings of climate change messages on public support for mitigation policy using conjoint survey experiments conducted in five countries: China, Germany, India, the UK, and the USA. We consider four different types of climate change frames: valence (positive vs. negative), theme (economic, environmental, health, and migration), scale (individual, community, country, and global), and timeframe (2050, 2030, now). The analysis also tests the effects of these different frames on individuals who are not concerned by the effects of climate change. Our results show a positive framing, in terms of the opportunities they provide, increases support for mitigation policies. We also find that an environmental and health framing of climate change increases public support for mitigation, while a migration framing reduces public support, and an economic framing has no effect. The results also show that framing climate change at a global level elicit greater public support for mitigation than at an individual level, and discussing the current impacts of climate change leads to greater support than future impacts. Our analysis also finds that a positive framing and a health framing of climate change also increase support for mitigation policies among those not concerned by the effects of climate change.
    Date: 2021–01–26
  14. By: Alberto Galasso; Mark Schankerman
    Abstract: We study the effects of an institution that pools patents across geographical markets on the licensing and adoption of life-saving drugs in low- and middle-income countries. Using data on licensing and sales for HIV, hepatitis C and tuberculosis drugs, we show that there is an immediate and large increase in licensing by generic firms when a patent is included in the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP). The effect is heterogeneous across countries. The findings are robust to identification strategies to deal with endogeneity of MPP patents and countries. The impact on actual entry and sales, however, is much smaller than on licensing, which is due to geographic bundling of licenses by the MPP. More broadly, the paper highlights the potential of pools in promoting technology diffusion in developing countries.
    JEL: I18 O31 O34
    Date: 2021–03
  15. By: W. Bentley MacLeod
    Abstract: A feature of many insurance markets is that they combine vertical differentiation (all consumers prefer high to low-coverage policies) and adverse selection (high cost customers prefer high-coverage plans). Building on Novshek and Sonnenschein (1978) and Azevedo and Gottlieb (2017), this paper characterizes the competitive equilibria in a vertically differentiated market characterized by adverse selection. This provides a simple, dynamic model of the market, along with their welfare consequences over time in response to policy changes. The model makes predictions consistent with recent evidence on the ACA exchange in the US (Frean et al. (2017)). Moreover, it provides a complete characterization of the health insurance “death spiral”. The death spiral leads to an inefficient outcome, but does not lead to a complete breakdown of the market. Rather, it predicts a large number of plans, with coverage that falls with an individual’s willingness to pay. It is shown that introducing a minimum coverage standard combined with an insurance mandate cannot restore efficiency. The optimal system depends on both the valuation of public funds and the social value of insurance. Depending on these parameters, a number of different types of systems may be optimal, including a single payer system with mandatory participation for all, such as the Canadian system, a mixed private-public system, as one sees in many countries, or a pure, free market system.
    JEL: D01 D21 D41 I11 I13 L15
    Date: 2021–03
  16. By: André de Palma; Nathalie Picard; Stef Proost (Université de Cergy-Pontoise, THEMA)
    Abstract: We develop an epidemic model to explain and predict the dynamics of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and to assess the economic costs of lockdown scenarios. The standard epidemic three-variable model, SIR (Susceptible, Infected and Removed) is extended into a fivevariable model SCARE: Susceptible, Carrier, Affected (i.e. sick), Recovered and Eliminated (i.e. dead). Using WHO and Oxford data on cases and deaths, we rely on indirect inference techniques to estimate the parameters of SIR and SCARE. We consider different observation rates and stringencies of lockdown. Both models are estimated for five countries and provide predictions on the number of cases, the number of deaths, and the basic reproduction number, R0. SCARE is used to test the impact of lockdown policies on economic costs for the well-documented Belgium case. Economic assessments of epidemic results on hospital, morbidity and mortality together with macro-economic impacts show that the total net benefits of the Belgian lockdown policy is negative for low valuations of life years lost. The gains of extending the Belgian lockdown policy are negative even for high valuation of life.
    Keywords: COVID-19, Public health, Policy, Simulation, Social contact
    JEL: I12 I18 I38
    Date: 2021
  17. By: Ingo E. Isphording; Nico Pestel
    Abstract: We study the impact of short-term exposure to ambient air pollution on the spread and severity of COVID-19 in Germany. We combine data on county-by-day level on confirmed cases and deaths with information on local air quality and weather conditions. Following Deryugina (2019) we instrument short-term variation in local concentrations of particulate matter (PM10) by region-specific daily variation in wind directions. We find significant positive effects of PM10 concentration on death numbers from four days before to ten days after the onset of symptoms. Specifically, for elderly patients (80+ years) an increase in ambient PM10 concentration by one standard deviation between two and four days after developing symptoms increases deaths by 19 percent of a standard deviation. In addition, higher levels air pollution raise the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 for all age groups. The timing of effects surrounding the onset of illness suggests that air pollution affects the severity of already realized infections. We discuss implications of our results for immediate policy levers to reduce the exposure and level of ambient air pollution, as well as for cost-benefit considerations of policies aiming at sustainable longer-term reductions of pollution levels.
    Keywords: COVID-19, health, air pollution, Germany
    JEL: I12 I18 Q53
    Date: 2021–01
  18. By: Victor Aguirregabiria (University of Toronto); Jiaying Gu (University of Toronto); Yao Luo (University of Toronto); Pedro Mira (CEMFI, Centro de Estudios Monetarios y Financieros)
    Abstract: This paper presents a dynamic structural model to evaluate economic and public health effects of the difusion of COVID-19, as well as the impact of factual and counterfactual public policies. Our framework combines a SIR epidemiological model of virus difusion with a structural game of network production and social interactions. The economy comprises three types of geographic locations: homes, workplaces, and consumption places. Each individual has her own set of locations where she develops her life. The combination of these sets for all the individuals determines the economy's production and social network. Every day, individuals choose to work and consume either outside (with physical interaction with other people) or remotely (from home, without physical interactions). Working (and consuming) outside is more productive and generates stronger complementarities (positive externality). However, in the presence of a virus, working outside facilitates infection and the diffusion of the virus (negative externality). Individuals are forward-looking. We characterize an equilibrium of the dynamic network game and present an algorithm for its computation. We describe the estimation of the parameters of the model combining several sources of data on COVID-19 in Ontario, Canada: daily epidemiological data; hourly electricity consumption data; and daily cell phone data on individuals' mobility. We use the model to evaluate the health and economic impact of several counterfactual public policies: subsidies for working at home; testing policies; herd immunity; and changes in the network structure. These policies generate substantial differences in the propagation of the virus and its economic impact.
    Keywords: COVID-19, virus difusion, dynamics, production and social networks, production externalities, public health.
    JEL: C57 C73 L14 L23 I18
    Date: 2020–06
  19. By: Pajaron, Marjorie C.; Vasquez, Glacer Niño A.
    Abstract: As the world races to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, non-pharmaceutical interventions such as voluntary social distancing and community quarantine (CQ) have been the first line of defense in breaking the chains of transmission in most countries. The efficacy of a public health measure, however, depends on a myriad of factors including its timing and optimal implementation, the proclivity of individuals in following protocols and information dissemination. We examine whether the different types of CQ imposed at different periods and areas in the Philippines are effective in mitigating the pernicious effects of COVID-19 while controlling for other confounding factors. Our natural experiment (difference-in-differences fixed effects) using panel data that we constructed results in the following. First, a lockdown is effective only in reducing COVID-19 incidence and mortality when combined with health capacity and sociodemographic characteristics that could potentially capture preferences to comply. Second, the efficacy of a CQ persists over time but it is somewhat reduced. Third, heterogeneity in the effectiveness of a quarantine exists across the different types of CQ, with a stricter CQ apparently more effective. Fourth, the number of nurses and other health care workers, urbanity and population matter in improving the health outcomes of areas under quarantine.
    Keywords: COVID-19,community quarantine,health policy intervention,quasi-experimental analysis,Philippines
    JEL: I12 I15 I18
    Date: 2021
  20. By: Ferranna, Maddalena (Harvard School of Public Health); Sevilla, J.P. (Harvard School of Public Health); Bloom, David E. (Harvard University)
    Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has forced countries to make difficult ethical choices, e.g., how to balance public health and socioeconomic activity and whom to prioritize in allocating vaccines or other scarce medical resources. We discuss the implications of benefit-cost analysis, utilitarianism, and prioritarianism in evaluating COVID-19-related policies. The relative regressivity of COVID-19 burdens and control policy costs determines whether increased sensitivity to distribution supports more or less aggressive control policies. Utilitarianism and prioritarianism, in that order, increasingly favor income redistribution mechanisms compared with benefit-cost analysis. The concern for the worse-off implies that prioritarianism is more likely than utilitarianism or benefit-cost analysis to target young and socioeconomically disadvantaged individuals in the allocation of scarce vaccine doses.
    Keywords: prioritarianism, benefit-cost analysis, utilitarianism, COVID-19, vaccine allocation, lockdown, control policies
    JEL: I1 I3 D6
    Date: 2021–03
  21. By: Julia M. Puaschunder (The New School, Department of Economics, New York, USA)
    Abstract: This paper detects and offers solutions to alleviate COVID-19 induced inequality. The COVID-19 external shock now clearly created economic disparity between nations, industries and societal groups. This paper discusses rising inequality trends in finance, healthcare and digitalization exacerbated during the global COVID pandemic. It then discusses the most novel and cutting-edge innovations in bridging the finance-world and real economy inequality gap, fostering digitalization advancements and common goods oriented access to affordable healthcare but also equality in connectivity and tech-skills development to overcome unforeseen inequality in the shadow of COVID-19.
    Keywords: Banking, Connectivity, Consumption, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Digitalization, Finance, Healthcare, Medical care, Real economy, Social volatility, Socio-Economics
    Date: 2021–01
  22. By: Kahanec, Martin; Lafférs, Lukáš; Schmidpeter, Bernhard
    Abstract: More than a year since the first outbreak in China in December 2019, most countries are still struggling to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. Mass antigen testing has been proposed as an instrument to mitigate the spread of the disease and allow the economy to re-open. We investigate the potential benefits of mass antigen testing for the mitigation of the pandemic, using data from a uniquely designed testing that took place in Slovakia in autumn 2020. As the first country in the world, Slovakia implemented and repeated mass rapid antigen testing. After the first round of nation-wide testing, only districts above an ex-ante unknown prevalence threshold were re-tested. Comparing districts in the neighborhood above and below the threshold using a quasi-experimental design, we find that repeated mass antigen testing reduces infections by about 25-30% and results in a decrease in R0 of 0.3 two weeks after the testing. These effects peaked about 15 days after the second round of testing and gradually dissipated afterward. These results suggest that mass testing could be an effective tool in curbing the spread of COVID-19, but for lasting effects it would need to be conducted regularly in relatively short intervals.
    Keywords: COVID-19,COVID-19 policies,Causal impact,Antigen testing,Mass test- ing,Non-pharmaceutical interventions
    JEL: D04 I18 J22
    Date: 2021
  23. By: Shinozaki, Shigehiro (Asian Development Bank Institute); Rao, Lakshman N. (Asian Development Bank Institute)
    Abstract: The novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19, has brought significant change to people’s lives and business activities nationally, regionally, and globally. The Philippines took swift action—including enhanced community quarantine (ECQ)—to contain the pandemic and launched an emergency subsidy program with massive public spending to support disrupted households and businesses. The strict lockdown ran from mid-March to the end of May 2020 in the national capital region and high-risk provinces, causing huge economic losses. Six months after the March lockdown, the Philippine economy has moved to the recovery stage, but micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) are continuing to confront a sharp drop in demand and revenue. We examine the initial impact on MSMEs of the ECQ and lockdown measures using evidence obtained from a rapid nationwide survey conducted from the end of March to mid-April 2020 and derive policy implications.
    Keywords: COVID-19; economic crisis; economic impact; MSMEs; SME development; access to finance; SME policy; Philippines
    JEL: D22 G20 L20 L50
    Date: 2021–02–08
  24. By: -
    Abstract: The health and socioeconomic crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic has hit the countries of Latin America hard and laid bare the profound inequities about which numerous international, regional and national reports have sounded warnings in recent decades. In this context, the historical political and economic exclusion and marginalization of the more than 800 indigenous peoples in the region has been accentuated as a result of insufficient State responses to the crisis, which have not adequately considered the collective rights of these peoples and have had little cultural relevance. This document provides an overview of the situation of indigenous peoples in the region in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. It analyses both the State’s and indigenous peoples’ own responses to the crisis, as well as offering a set of recommendations to rectify the neglect of these peoples in the management of the pandemic, centring on their collective rights.
    Date: 2021–03–08
  25. By: Burkhauser, Richard V. (Cornell University); Corinth, Kevin (Council of Economic Advisers); Holtz-Eakin, Douglas
    Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic and the associated government mandated shutdowns caused a historic shock to the U.S. economy and a disproportionate job loss concentrated among the working class. While an unprecedented social safety net policy response successfully offset earnings loses among lower-wage workers, the risk of continued and persistent unemployment remains higher among the working class. The key lesson from the Great Recession is that strong economic growth and a hot labor market do more to improve the economic wellbeing of the working class and historically disadvantaged groups than a slow recovery that relies on safety net policies to help replace lost earnings. Thus, the best way to prevent a "K-shaped" recovery is to ensure that safety net policies do not interfere with a return to the strong pre-pandemic economy once the health risk subsides, and that pro-growth policies that incentivize business investment and hiring are maintained.
    Keywords: COVID-19 Recession, Great Recession, income growth, employment, safety-net policy, working class
    JEL: D31 E24 E3 E6 I3 J21 J31
    Date: 2021–03
  26. By: Pol Antras (Harvard University and CEPR and NBER); Stephen J Redding (Princeton University and CEPR and NBER); Esteban Rossi Hansberg (Princeton University and CEPR and NBER)
    Abstract: We develop a model of human interaction to analyze the relationship between globalization and pandemics.Our framework provides joint microfoundations for the gravity equation for international trade and the Susceptible-Infected-Recovered (SIR) model of disease dynamics. We show that there are cross-country epidemiological externalities, such that whether a global pandemic breaks out depends critically on the disease environment in the country with the highest rates of domestic infection. A deepening of global integration can either increase or decrease the range of parameters for which a pandemic occurs,and can generate multiple waves of infection when a single wave would otherwise occur in the closed economy. If agents do not internalize the threat of infection, larger deaths in a more unhealthy country raise its relative wage, thus generating a form of general equilibrium social distancing. Once agents internalize the threat of infection, the more unhealthy country typically experiences a reduction in its relative wage through individual-level social distancing. Incorporating these individual-level responses is central to generating large reductions in the ratio of trade to output and implies that the pandemic has substantial effects on aggregate welfare, through both deaths and reduced gains from trade.
    Keywords: COVID-19
    JEL: F60 I18
    Date: 2020–09
  27. By: Niembro, Andrés; Calá, Carla Daniela
    Abstract: In this paper we propose an index to measure the territorial economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in contexts with scarce or outdated regional data, which is often the case in developing countries. This index is based on data that are usually available in most countries: a) the sectoral productive structure of the regions, b) the operational level of each sector, c) the mobility of workers in each region, and d) the possibility of remote work among sectors. The empirical application for Argentina describes the territorial economic impact during the second and third quarters of 2020, both for the provinces and labor market areas. Our results show that the regional impact of COVID-19 on private economic activity was highly heterogeneous and, in some cases, dissociated from the regional health impact. The proposed index is also highly correlated with sporadic official data coming from national agencies, while it has a wider geographical and temporal scope.
    Keywords: Medición; Impacto Económico; Economía Regional; Aislamiento Social; COVID-19;
    Date: 2020–12

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