nep-hea New Economics Papers
on Health Economics
Issue of 2021‒04‒26
25 papers chosen by
Nicolas R. Ziebarth
Cornell University

  1. Binge Drinking and Risk Preferences: an application to college students in Argentina By Mariana De Santish; María Inés Larai; Andrea Carrazana Riveraj; María Noelia Garberok; Carolina Judith Castroff
  2. Does social health insurance spillover to student performance? Evidence from an RDD in Peru By Miguel Ángel Carpio; Lucero Gómez; Pablo Lavado
  3. Labor Market Effects of the Oxycodone-Heroin Epidemic By ; ; Daniel I. Garcia; Alison E. Weingarden
  4. The effect of labor market shocks on mental health outcomes: evidence from the Spanish Great Recession By Eduardo Ignacio Polo-Muro
  5. Deindustrialization and the Postsocialist Mortality Crisis By Scheiring, Gábor; Azarova, Aytalina; Irdam, Darja; Doniec, Katarzyna Julia; McKee, Martin; Stuckler, David; King, Lawrence
  6. You are What Your Parents Expect: Height and Local Reference Points By Fan Wang; Esteban Puentes; Jere Behrman; Flavio Cunha
  7. Medicaid and Fiscal Federalism During the COVID-19 Pandemic By Jeffrey Clemens; Benedic N. Ippolito; Stan Veuger
  8. Medicare and the Rise of American Medical Patenting: The Economics of User-Driven Innovation By Jeffrey P. Clemens; Morten Olsen
  9. Effects of formal home care on spousal health outcomes By Judite Goncalves; Francisco von Hafe; Luis Filipe
  10. Happiness, Domains of Life Satisfaction, Perceptions, and Valuation Differences Across Genders By Milovanska-Farrington, Stefani; Farrington, Stephen
  11. Modeling Inter-Regional Patient Mobility: Does Distance Go Far Enough? By Michael Irlacher; Dieter Pennerstorfer; Anna-Theresa Renner; Florian Unger
  12. Divided We Survive? Multi-Level Governance and Policy Uncertainty during the First Wave of Covid-19 By Marta Angelici; Paolo Berta; Joan Costa-i-Font; Gilberto Turati
  13. The Impact of Health and Economic Policies on the Spread of COVID-19 and Economic Activity By Matthew Famiglietti; Fernando Leibovici
  14. Mental Health Costs of Lockdowns: Evidence from Age-Specific Curfews in Turkey By Altindag, Onur; Erten, Bilge; Keskin, Pinar
  15. Efficiency of government policy during the COVID-19 pandemic By Delis, Manthos D.; Iosifidi, Maria; Tasiou, Menelaos
  16. A Scale for Measuring Social Distancing Behavior: Survey Questions and National Norms, USA 2020 By Evans, MDR; Kelley, Jonathan; Kelley, Sarah
  17. The gendered crisis: livelihoods and mental well-being in India during COVID-19 By Farzana Afridi; Amrita Dhillon; Sanchari Roy
  18. Changes in fertility plans during the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy: the role of occupation and income vulnerability By Arpino, Bruno; LUPPI, FRANCESCA; Rosina, Alessandro
  19. The Political Scar of Epidemics By Barry Eichengreen; Orkun Saka; Cevat Giray Aksoy
  20. The Covid-19 containment effects of public health measures - A spatial difference-in-differences approach By Kosfeld, Reinhold; Mitze, Timo; Rode, Johannes; Wälde, Klaus
  21. Parental Skills, Assortative Mating, and the Incidence of Autism Spectrum Disorder By N. Meltem Daysal; Todd E. Elder; Judith K. Hellerstein; Scott A. Imberman; Chiara Orsini
  22. The Effect of a Health and Economic Shock on the Gender, Ethnic and Racial Gap in Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from COVID-19 By Milovanska-Farrington, Stefani
  23. Measuring the labor market at the onset of the COVID-19 crisis By Bartik, Alexander; Bertrand, Marianne; Lin, Feng; Rothstein, Jesse; Unrath, Matthew
  24. When Face Masks Signal Social Identity: Explaining the Deep Face-Mask Divide During the COVID-19 Pandemic By Powdthavee, Nattavudh; Riyanto, Yohanes Eko; Wong, Erwin C. L.; Xiong-Wei, Jonathan Yeo; Qi-Yu, Chan
  25. Correcting Perceived Social Distancing Norms to Combat COVID-19 By James Allen IV; Arlete Mahumane; James Riddell IV; Tanya Rosenblat; Dean Yang; Hang Yu

  1. By: Mariana De Santish; María Inés Larai; Andrea Carrazana Riveraj; María Noelia Garberok; Carolina Judith Castroff
    Abstract: This study analyzes the decision of consuming alcohol in the modality of excessive episodic consumption (binge drinking) among college students. It uses primary data especially collected to this aim, which includes the design and implementation of the Consumption Habits in University Students’ Survey (CHUS Survey). This survey took place in August 2019 in two Argentinian Universities: Universidad Nacional de Córdoba and Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, interviewing 1397 first year students of the Economic Sciences School in both Universities took part of this study, who represent the 73% of the enrolled students. The survey assesses principally knowledge about risky alcohol consumption, characteristics of consumption of alcohol and other substances, alcohol consumption in peer groups, preferences about alcoholic beverages, risk perception and vulnerability, propensity and accessibility to alcohol and other substances. Using the Latent Class Analysis 5 classes about risk preferences were defined, being the largest the one that groups students with the highest tolerance to risk (45% of the sample). On the contrary, the group most averse to risk represents only 3% of the sample. A probit model corrected by self-selection is estimated to analyze the decision of having a binge drinking episode. It is found that being man, participating in pre-gaming frequently and being a risk lover increase the probability of harmful alcohol consumption in a binge drinking pattern.
    Keywords: risk preferences, binge drinking, university students, latent class analysis
    JEL: D12 D91 I12 C38
    Date: 2020–11
  2. By: Miguel Ángel Carpio (Universidad de Piura); Lucero Gómez (Universidad del Pacífico); Pablo Lavado (Universidad del Pacífico)
    Abstract: The literature on the effects of Social Health Insurance focuses on its stated goals, namely health status and financial protection; but little work exists on its effect on education. In this paper, we examine the effect of the Peruvian program on student performance by means of a sharp regression discontinuity design. We use a unique individual-level database built from the merger of detailed data from a household survey and standardized test scores from a national census. We find large effects of health insurance on mathematics and reading scores. Moreover, we analyze the main potential mechanisms: health of child, health of family members, and status of household finances. The clearest channel is a lower incidence of anemia among children and mothers, probably due to better nutrition. Finally, we explore whether the effect of health insurance on test scores is heterogeneous by sex to the extent that the data allow. We find it is mostly driven by girls who are better off across the entire score distribution.
    Keywords: social health insurance, test scores, anemia, Peru.
    JEL: D04 I18 I21 I38
    Date: 2021–01
  3. By: ; ; Daniel I. Garcia; Alison E. Weingarden
    Abstract: We estimate the causal effects of heroin use on labor market outcomes by proxying for heroin use with prior exposure to oxycodone, the largest of the prescription opioids with a well-documented history of abuse. After a nationwide tightening in the supply of oxycodone in 2010, states with greater prior exposure to oxycodone experienced much larger increases in heroin use and mortality. We find increases in heroin use led to declines in employment and labor force participation rates, particularly for white, young, and less educated groups, consistent with the profile of oxycodone misusers. The results show the importance of extending beyond prescriptions when accounting for the labor market effects of the opioid crisis.
    Keywords: Labor force; Participation rate; Opioid crisis
    JEL: I12 I18 J21
    Date: 2021–04–14
  4. By: Eduardo Ignacio Polo-Muro (Department of Economics. Universidad Pablo de Olavide.)
    Abstract: This research examines the response in terms of demand for mental health care when individuals face a negative economic shock that impairs mental health. It exploits the sudden increase of the unemployment rate in Spain during the period 2007-2009 to analyze the long-run consequences of the labor market deterioration caused by the Great Recession on mental health. First, I analyze the impairment of self-evaluated mental health as a consequence of the Great Recession and if it prevails during the economic recovery. In addition, I estimate if the effect on self-reported mental health is reflected in the demand for mental health care. The results indicate that individuals displaced from their jobs are more likely to report worse mental health, to take drugs for mental illness, and to visit a mental health specialist. Using a labor market shock at the aggregate level, the findings from a differences-in-differences design show that the economic downturn increases the differences between employed and unemployed individuals in self-evaluated mental health. However, a recession reduces the prescription of mental health drugs, and the effect on medical attendance is insignificant. The opposite evidence regarding self-evaluated mental health and medical behavior might suggest the presence of a stigma associated with mental health.
    Keywords: Mental health, Health Care, Unemployment, Great Recession
    JEL: I12 I14 I18 J60
    Date: 2021
  5. By: Scheiring, Gábor (Bocconi University); Azarova, Aytalina; Irdam, Darja; Doniec, Katarzyna Julia (University of Cambridge); McKee, Martin; Stuckler, David; King, Lawrence
    Abstract: An unprecedented mortality crisis struck Eastern Europe during the transition from socialism to capitalism. Working-class men without a college degree suffered the most. Some argue that economic dislocation caused stress and despair, leading to adverse health behavior and ill health (dislocation-despair approach). Others suggest that hazardous drinking inherited as part of a dysfunctional working-class culture and populist alcohol policy were the key determinants (supply-culture approach). We enter this debate by performing the first quantitative analysis of the association between economic dislocation in the form of industrial employment decline and mortality in postsocialist Eastern Europe. We rely on a novel multilevel dataset, fitting survival and panel models covering 52 towns and 42,800 people in 1989-1995 in Hungary and 514 medium-sized towns in the European part of Russia. The results show that deindustrialization was significantly associated with male mortality in both countries directly and indirectly mediated by adverse health behavior as a dysfunctional coping strategy. Both countries experienced severe deindustrialization, but social and economic policies seem to have offset Hungary’s more immense industrial employment loss. The policy implication is that social and economic policies addressing the underlying causes of stress and despair can improve health.
    Date: 2021–04–10
  6. By: Fan Wang (University of Houston); Esteban Puentes (Universidad de Chile); Jere Behrman (University of Pennsylvania); Flavio Cunha (Rice University)
    Abstract: Recent estimates are that about 150 million children under five years of age are stunted, with substantial negative consequences for their schooling, cognitive skills, health, and economic productivity. Therefore, understanding what determines such growth retardation is significant for designing public policies that aim to address this issue. We build a model for nutritional choices and health with reference-dependent preferences. Parents care about the health of their children relative to some reference population. In our empirical model, we use height as the health outcome that parents target. Reference height is an equilibrium object determined by earlier cohorts’ parents’ nutritional choices in the same village. We explore the exogenous variation in reference height produced by a proteinsupplementation experiment in Guatemala to estimate our model’s parameters. We use our model to decompose the impact of the protein intervention on height into price and reference-point effects. We find that the changes in reference points account for 65% of the height difference between two-year-old children in experimental and control villages in the sixth annual cohort born after the initiation of the intervention.
    Keywords: stunting, Child Development, Guatemala, protein intervention
    JEL: I15 D80 D90 O15
    Date: 2021–04
  7. By: Jeffrey Clemens; Benedic N. Ippolito; Stan Veuger
    Abstract: We analyze the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on state and local government finances, with an emphasis on health spending needs and the role of the Medicaid program. We arrive at three conclusions. First, we find that nationwide, and over the entirety of the federal budget window, the enhanced federal matching funds are of roughly the same magnitude as expected increases in state Medicaid costs. There is a difference in timing, however, as projected relief funds are more concentrated in the near term than projected spending needs. Second, we show that there is substantial variation in states’ exposure to increases in Medicaid program costs. Third, we evaluate the extent to which federal aid has been targeted at states with large increases in Medicaid costs. We show that the enhanced Medicaid matching funds are quite weakly correlated with variations in states’ cost increases. In contrast, the state aid formula in the American Recovery Plan Act appears, to at least a moderate degree, to direct dollars toward states with large increases in their Medicaid enrollments.
    JEL: H72 H75 H77
    Date: 2021–04
  8. By: Jeffrey P. Clemens; Morten Olsen
    Abstract: Innovation is part idea generation and part development. We build a model of “innovating-by-doing,” whereby ideas come to practitioners. Successful innovation requires that practitioners’ ideas be developed through costly effort. Our model nests existing theories of laboratory research and learning-by-doing. Empirically, we analyze the effect of the U.S. Medicare program on medical equipment innovation. Our model’s structure allows us to infer the Medicare program’s aggregate effects. We estimate that Medicare’s introduction led to a 20 to 30 percent increase in medical equipment patenting across the United States, of which roughly half is due to the innovating-by-doing channel.
    Keywords: innovation and invention, medical innovation, health care, health insurance
    JEL: I13 O38 O31 H51
    Date: 2021
  9. By: Judite Goncalves; Francisco von Hafe; Luis Filipe
    Abstract: This study estimates the impacts of formal home care provided by paid professionals on spousal health outcomes. We use data from the Survey of Health, Ageing, and Retirement in Europe, a panel of older adults living in several European countries, and match new formal home care users to non-users to account for the endogeneity of the decision to seek formal home care. After considering underlying mechanisms, our results suggest that at least in the short run, the use of formal home care does not impact spousal physical or mental health. We also find that formal home care use increases spousal informal caregiving —along the extensive margin—, although in our sample and short time horizon, spousal informal caregiving does not seem to impact health.
    Keywords: Formal home care, informal care, caregiver burden, spouse caregivers, health index, health shocks, statistical matching
    JEL: C29 D19 I19
    Date: 2021
  10. By: Milovanska-Farrington, Stefani (University of Tampa); Farrington, Stephen (University of Tampa)
    Abstract: Happiness is strongly associated with goal attainment, productivity, mental health and suicidal risk. This paper examines the effect of satisfaction with areas of life on subjective well-being (SWB), the importance of relative perceptions compared to absolute measures in predicting overall life satisfaction, and differences in the domains of life which have the greatest impact on happiness of men and women. The findings suggest that relative perceptions have a large statistically significant effect on SWB. Satisfaction with family life and health have the largest while satisfaction with income has the lowest impact on overall SWB for both genders. Work satisfaction is more important for men than for women, whereas partner's happiness is more valued by female respondents. Satisfaction with household compared to personal income has a larger effect on SWB in all subsamples except employed women. Understanding the perceived and factual determinants of happiness has urgent implications in the context of the detrimental impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on SWB.
    Keywords: subjective well-being, satisfaction with areas of life, perceptions, values, gender differences
    JEL: D60 I31 J16 D03
    Date: 2021–04
  11. By: Michael Irlacher; Dieter Pennerstorfer; Anna-Theresa Renner; Florian Unger
    Abstract: This paper estimates a theory-guided gravity equation of regional patient flows. In our model, a patient’s choice to consult a physician in a particular region depends on a measure of spatial accessibility that accounts for the exact locations of both patients and physicians. Introducing this concept in a spatial economics model, we derive an augmented gravity-type equation and show that our measure of accessibility performs better in explaining patient flows than bilateral distance. We conduct a rich set of counterfactual simulations, illustrating that the effects of physicians’ market exits on patient mobility crucially depend on their exact locations.
    Keywords: gravity model, patient mobility, spatial accessibility, two-step floating catchment areas (2SFCA)
    JEL: R10 R12 R23 I11 I18
    Date: 2021
  12. By: Marta Angelici; Paolo Berta; Joan Costa-i-Font; Gilberto Turati
    Abstract: We compare health system responses to the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic in Italy and Spain. In both countries, healthcare is managed at the regional level, but the central government behaved differently in the uncertainty surrounding the first wave, leaving more autonomy to regional governments in Italy than in Spain. Upon documenting national and regional health system responses, we show evidence of a significant gap in the number of infected cases, alongside regular and emergency hospital admissions, and mortality in the two countries, both at the national and at the regional level. We then discuss several potential mechanisms, such as policy stringency, the localization of the pandemic and mobility restrictions, measurement error, and especially the regional autonomy, enjoyed by Italian regions but not by Spanish regional governments amidst a state of alarm in both countries. We find that, given the strong localized effect of the pandemic, allowing more autonomy, and fostering experimentation and local solutions explains the gap between Italy and Spain in the first wave of the pandemic.
    Keywords: regional health systems, decentralization, policy stringency, health care, Covid-19, Italy, Spain
    JEL: H75 I18
    Date: 2021
  13. By: Matthew Famiglietti; Fernando Leibovici
    Abstract: This paper empirically investigates the causal linkages between COVID-19 spread, government health containment and economic support policies, and economic activity during 2020 in the U.S. We model their joint dynamics as generated by a structural vector autoregression and estimate it using U.S. state-level data. We identify structural shocks to the variables by making assumptions on their short-run relation consistent with salient epidemiological and economic features of COVID-19. We isolate the direct impact of COVID-19 spread and policy responses on economic activity by controlling for demand fluctuations using disaggregate exports data. We find that health containment and economic support policies are highly effective at curbing the spread of COVID-19 without leading to a long-term contraction of economic activity.
    Keywords: COVID-19; Health Containment Policies; Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions; Pandemics; Economic Activity
    JEL: I18 E0 F1
    Date: 2021–04
  14. By: Altindag, Onur (Bentley University); Erten, Bilge (Northeastern University); Keskin, Pinar (Wellesley College)
    Abstract: Using a strict, age-specific lockdown order for adults aged 65 and older in Turkey, we examine the mental health consequences of an extended period of tight mobility restrictions on senior adults. Adopting a regression discontinuity design, we find that the curfew-induced decline in mobility substantially worsened mental health outcomes, including somatic and nonsomatic symptoms of mental distress (approximately 0.2 standard deviation). Exploring potential channels, we document an increase in social and physical isolation, with no evidence of robust changes in labor market outcomes or intrahousehold conflict for this subpopulation.
    Keywords: COVID-19, mental health, lockdown, regression discontinuity, Turkey
    JEL: I18 I31 O15
    Date: 2021–04
  15. By: Delis, Manthos D.; Iosifidi, Maria; Tasiou, Menelaos
    Abstract: Using data envelopment analysis and stochastic frontier models, we introduce a new country-month index of efficiency of government policy in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Our indices cover the period May 2020 to March 2021 for 81 countries. Our framework assumes that governments impose stringent policies with the ultimate goal of saving lives. We use policies listed in the Oxford COVID-19 Containment and Health Index as government policy input and a deaths-based measure as the output. Importantly, we estimate our output to account for country-month variations in the quality of death reporting. Based on their average efficiency, the top 5 countries are Taiwan, Japan, Estonia, Finland and New Zealand. We also examine the correlates of our new indices and find that important and positive ones are institutions, democratic principles, political stability, high public spending in health, female participation in the workplace, and economic equality. Within the efficient jurisdictions, the most efficient ones are those with cultural characteristics of low power distance and high patience. The new index and its correlates produce several avenues for future research.
    Keywords: Government efficiency, COVID-19 pandemic, Data envelopment analysis, Stochastic frontiers, Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker, determinants of efficiency
    JEL: I18
    Date: 2021–04–07
  16. By: Evans, MDR; Kelley, Jonathan; Kelley, Sarah
    Abstract: "Social distancing", a set of "nonpharmaceutical interventions" or NPIs in the medical literature, is a primary defence, perhaps the primary defence, against infectious disease, universally advocated by medical authorities in the US and throughout the world during the current coronavirus pandemic. The idea is not new. Perhaps the first government-directed quarantine system was mid-fourteenth-century Venice's “quaranta giorni", forty days of mandated isolation for incoming ships. We propose a 5-item primary scale of "social distancing" behavior (KEK-3) and a slightly extended variant (KEK-3m), developed for use during the COVID-19 epidemic (and, potentially, beyond). The candidate items all had 7 answer categories. Assessment aligns very well with the classical measurement model for multi-item scales: interitem correlations are high; alpha reliability is 0.86; correlations with criterion variables are similar across the candidate items; factor analysis (oblimin rotation) finds a single dimension with an eigenvalue over 1 and loadings around .7. We provide behavioral norms for America during the 2020 pandemic and describe KEK-3's links to demographic and socioeconomic factors. Developing a replicable scale is especially important now, because many researchers are making erroneous comparisons using the same terminology to describe aspects of the epidemic which have been measured differently. To successfully assess the "...meaning of social change related to COVID-19, the newly emerging social practices due to lockdown measures..." (Esposito, Stark and Squazzoni 2020), high-quality measurements sufficiently reliable and robust to be replicated in different times as the epidemic evolves and in different settings are desperately needed: KEK-3 contributes to such a set of measures. Data: four large national sample surveys conducted April - July, 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic. Data collection was through's Mechanical Turk. This scale may be freely used by other researchers so long as its origin is acknowledged.
    Date: 2021–04–17
  17. By: Farzana Afridi; Amrita Dhillon; Sanchari Roy
    Abstract: This paper studies the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the gendered dimensions of employment and mental health among urban informal-sector workers in India. First, we find that men's employment declined by 84 percentage points post-pandemic relative to pre-pandemic, while their monthly earnings fell by 89 per cent relative to the baseline mean. In contrast, women did not experience any significant impact on employment post pandemic, as reported by their husbands. Second, we document very high levels of pandemic-induced mental stress, with wives reporting greater stress than husbands.
    Keywords: COVID-19, Informal sector, Employment, Mental health, Social networks, Gender, India
    Date: 2021
  18. By: Arpino, Bruno; LUPPI, FRANCESCA; Rosina, Alessandro (Catholic University of the Sacred Heart)
    Abstract: The health and economic crisis generated by the COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented in recent human history. We investigate the role of objective and subjective indicators of economic uncertainty due to the COVID-19 crisis in young Italians’ fertility plans during the year 2020. We use unique repeated cross-sectional data, collected at different time points during the pandemic (March and October/November 2020) together with pre-COVID data (2016). The data offer a standard fertility intention question pre- and during-COVID, and also a direct question on whether pre-COVID fertility plans have been confirmed, postponed or abandoned. We find that individuals with more vulnerable occupations show a lower probability of definitely intending to have a(nother) child in the short-term and a higher probability of having abandoned their pre-COVID fertility plan in March 2020, while in October 2020 changes in fertility plans did not vary by occupation. Instead, those who suffered from a negative income shock and those with negative expectations on their future income and occupation are more likely to abandon their pre-pandemic fertility plan compared to their better off counterparts, and these differences hold both in March and October. Overall, economic uncertainty generated by the pandemic seems to have similarly affected men and women’s fertility intentions. Our findings point to the fact that the unequal economic consequences of the pandemic also produced and will produce heterogeneous effects on fertility intentions.
    Date: 2021–04–14
  19. By: Barry Eichengreen; Orkun Saka; Cevat Giray Aksoy
    Abstract: What political legacy is bequeathed by national health crises such as epidemics? We show that epidemic exposure in an individual’s “impressionable years” (ages 18 to 25) has a persistent negative effect on confidence in political institutions and leaders. The effect is specific to the impressionable ages, observed only for political institutions and leaders, and does not carry over to other institutions and individuals with one key exception. That exception is strong negative effects on confidence in public health systems, suggesting that the loss of confidence in political institutions and leaders is associated with the (in)effectiveness of a government’s healthcare-related responses to past epidemics. We document this mechanism, showing that weak governments took longer to introduce policy interventions in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, and demonstrating that the loss of political trust is larger for individuals who experienced epidemics under weak governments. Finally, we report evidence suggesting that the epidemic-induced loss of political trust may discourage electoral participation in the long term.
    Keywords: epidemics, trust, political approval
    JEL: D72 F50 I19
    Date: 2021
  20. By: Kosfeld, Reinhold; Mitze, Timo; Rode, Johannes; Wälde, Klaus
    Abstract: The paper studies the containment effects of public health measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 during the first wave of the pandemic in spring 2020 in Germany. To identify the effects of six compound sets of public health measures, we employ a spatial difference-in-differences approach. We find that contact restrictions, mandatory wearing of face masks and closure of schools substantially contributed to flattening the infection curve. The significance of the impact of restaurant closure does not prove to be robust. No incremental effect is evidenced for closure of establishments and the shutdown of non-essential retail stores.
    Date: 2021–04–13
  21. By: N. Meltem Daysal; Todd E. Elder; Judith K. Hellerstein; Scott A. Imberman; Chiara Orsini
    Abstract: We use rich administrative data from Denmark to assess medical theories that autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a heritable condition transmitted through underlying parental skills. Positing that occupational choices reflect skills, we create two separate occupation-based skill measures and find that these measures are associated with ASD incidence among children, especially through the father’s side. We also assess the empirical relevance of assortative mating based on skill, concluding that intertemporal changes in assortative mating explain little of the increase in ASD diagnoses in recent decades.
    JEL: I10 J24
    Date: 2021–04
  22. By: Milovanska-Farrington, Stefani (University of Tampa)
    Abstract: With more than 29 million confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the U.S. and 119 million cases worldwide, the pandemic has affected companies, households and the global economy. We explore the effect of this health and economic shock on labor market outcomes, and the changes in labor market disparities between ethnic groups and genders. The results provide evidence of an adverse effect of Covid-19 on labor market outcomes of all demographic groups, a widening gap between the employment prospects of minorities and whites, but no change in the earnings gaps between racial and ethnic groups. We also do not find a deterioration of the differentials between genders. The findings have implications related to the priorities of policy decision makers when implementing policies to combat race and ethnic, and gender gaps in the labor market.
    Keywords: labor market, ethnic disparities, gender disparities, inequality, health and economic shock, COVID-19
    JEL: J70 J71 J01 J15 J23
    Date: 2021–04
  23. By: Bartik, Alexander; Bertrand, Marianne; Lin, Feng; Rothstein, Jesse; Unrath, Matthew
    Abstract: We use traditional and non-traditional data to measure the collapse and partial recovery of the U.S. labor market from March to early July, contrast this downturn to previous recessions, and provide preliminary evidence on the effects of the policy response. For hourly workers at both small and large businesses, nearly all of the decline in employment occurred between March 14 and 28. It was driven by low-wage services, particularly the retail and leisure and hospitality sectors. A large share of the job losses in small businesses reflected firms that closed entirely, though many subsequently reopened. Firms that were already unhealthy were more likely to close and less likely to reopen, and disadvantaged workers were more likely to be laid off and less likely to return. Most laid off workers expected to be recalled, and this was predictive of rehiring. Shelter-in-place orders drove only a small share of job losses. Last, states that received more small business loans from the Paycheck Protection Program and states with more generous unemployment insurance benefits had milder declines and faster recoveries. We find no evidence that high UI replacement rates drove job losses or slowed rehiring. This work has been supported, in part, by the University of California Multicampus Research Programs and Initiatives grant MRP-19-600774.
    Keywords: Social and Behavioral Sciences, MRPI Grant MRP-19-600774
    Date: 2020–08–01
  24. By: Powdthavee, Nattavudh; Riyanto, Yohanes Eko; Wong, Erwin C. L.; Xiong-Wei, Jonathan Yeo; Qi-Yu, Chan
    Abstract: With the COVID-19 pandemic still raging and the vaccination program still rolling out, there continues to be an immediate need for public health officials to better understand the mechanisms behind the deep and perpetual divide over face masks in America. Using a random sample of Americans (N=615), following a pre-registered experimental design and analytic plan, we first demonstrated that mask wearers were not innately more cooperative as individuals than non-mask wearers in the Prisoners’ Dilemma (PD) game when information about their own and the other person’s mask usage was not salient. However, we found strong, revealed preference evidence of in-group favoritism among both mask and non-mask wearers when information about the other partner’s mask usage was known. Holding other things constant, non-mask wearers were 23 percentage points less likely to cooperate than mask wearers when facing a mask-wearing partner, and 26 percentage points more likely to cooperate than mask wearers when facing a non-mask wearing partner. Our analysis suggests social identity effects to be one of the main drivers of people’s decision whether to wear or shun face masks during the pandemic. Policy makers should therefore take social perception of face masks into account when designing not only what public messages to deliver, but also who to deliver these messages.
    Date: 2021–04–09
  25. By: James Allen IV; Arlete Mahumane; James Riddell IV; Tanya Rosenblat; Dean Yang; Hang Yu
    Abstract: Can informing people of high rates of community support for social distancing encourage them to do more of it? Our Mozambican study population underestimated the rate of community support for social distancing, believing support to be only 69%, while the true share was 98%. In theory, informing people of high rates of community support has ambiguous effects on social distancing, depending on whether a perceived-infectiousness effect dominates a free-riding effect. We randomly assigned a "social norm correction" treatment, informing people of true high rates of community support for social distancing. We examine an improved measure of social distancing combining detailed self-reports with reports on the respondent by others in the community. The treatment increases social distancing where COVID-19 case loads are high (where the perceived-infectiousness effect dominates), but decreases it where case loads are low (where free-riding dominates). Separately, randomized local-leader endorsements of social distancing are ineffective. As COVID-19 case loads continue to rise, interventions such as the social norm correction treatment should show increased effectiveness at promoting social distancing.
    JEL: D91 I12 O12
    Date: 2021–04

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