nep-hea New Economics Papers
on Health Economics
Issue of 2021‒06‒21
28 papers chosen by
Nicolas R. Ziebarth
Cornell University

  1. Innovation and Health Disparities During an Epidemic: The Case of HIV By Barton Hamilton; Andrés Hincapié; Emma C. Kalish; Nicholas W. Papageorge
  2. The Opioid Epidemic: Causes and Consequences By Carolina Arteaga Cabrales; Victoria Barone
  3. Delay the Pension Age or Adjust the Pension Benefit? Implications for Labor Supply and Individual Welfare in China By Yuanyuan Deng; Hanming Fang; Katja Hanewald; Shang Wu
  4. An App Call a Day Keeps the Patient Away? Substitution of Online and In-Person Doctor Consultations Among Young Adults By Ellegård, Lina Maria; Kjellsson, Gustav; Mattisson, Linn
  5. Performance Pay in Insurance Markets: Evidence from Medicare By Michele Fioretti; Hongming Wang
  6. Dark Passage: Mental Health Consequences of Parental Death By Petri Böckerman; Mika Haapanen; Christopher Jepsen
  7. Prenatal transfers and infant health: Evidence from Spain By Libertad González Luna; Sofia Trommlerová
  8. The Intergenerational Transmission of Mental and Physical Health in the United Kingdom By Panka Bencsik; Timothy J. Halliday; Bhashkar Mazumder
  9. Comparisons of Australian Mental Health Distributions By David Gunawan; William Griffiths; Duangkamon Chotikapanich
  10. CEO Stress, Aging, and Death By Borgschulte, Mark; Guenzel, Marius; Liu, Canyao; Malmendier, Ulrike M.
  11. Food Insecurity Among Working-Age Veterans By Rabbitt, Matthew P.; Smith, Michael D.
  12. The Power of Markets: Impact of Desert Locust Invasions on Child Health By Bruno Conte; Lavinia Piemontese; Augustin Tapsola
  13. Opportunity costs of unpaid caregiving: Evidence from panel time diaries By Ray Miller; Ashish Kumar Sedai
  14. Revision of Ireland’s Cost-Effectiveness Threshold: New State-Industry Drug Pricing Deal Should Adequately Reflect Opportunity Costs By O'Mahony, James F
  15. Health expenditures, remittances, and climate vulnerability: Evidence from Bangladesh By Gazi M Hassan
  16. The Winter Choke: Coal-Fired Heating, Air Pollution, and Mortality in China By Maoyong Fan; Guojun He; Maigeng Zhou
  17. Long-Term Care Facilities as a Risk Factor for Death Due to COVID-19: Evidence from European Countries and U.S. States By Feldman, Michal; Gandal, Neil; Pauzner, Ady; Tabbach, Avraham; Yonas, Matan
  18. Controlled infection to exit COVID-19 lockdown: a first utilitarian analysis By Chris Hope
  19. Modeling Behavior during a Pandemic: Using HIV as an Historical Analogy By Nicholas W. Papageorge
  20. COVID-19, City Lockdowns, And Air Pollution: Evidence from China By Guojun He; Yuhang Pan; Takanao Tanaka
  21. An introduction to economic studies, health emergencies, and COVID-19 By Clarke, Lorcan
  22. The Resilience of FDI to Natural Disasters through Industrial Linkages By Shusaku Sasaki; Tomoya Saito; Fumio Ohtake
  23. Pandemics and Local Economic Growth: Evidence from the Great Influenza in Italy By Carillo, Mario; Jappelli, Tullio
  24. Covid-19 and Mental Health of Individuals with Different Personalities By Eugenio Proto; Anwen Zhang
  25. A Matter of Trust? Political Trust and the Covid-19 Pandemic By Mohammad Reza Farzanegan; Hans Philipp Hofmann
  26. Social Protection during the Pandemic: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico By Merike Blofield; Nora Lustig; Mart Trasberg
  27. The Short-Run Macro Implications of School and Child-Care Closures By Fuchs-Schündeln, Nicola; Kuhn, Moritz; Tertilt, Michèle
  28. Impacts of Cash Transfers on Consumption during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Evidence from Japanese Special Cash Payment (Japanese) By UNAYAMA Takashi; KOMURA Norihiro; HATTORI Takahiro

  1. By: Barton Hamilton; Andrés Hincapié; Emma C. Kalish; Nicholas W. Papageorge
    Abstract: We examine whether medical innovation can reinforce existing health disparities by disproportionately benefiting socioeconomically advantaged patients. The reason is that less advantaged patients often do not use new medications. This may be due to high costs of new drugs, but could also reflect differences in how side effects of new treatments interact with labor supply. To investigate, we develop a dynamic lifecycle model in which the effect of medical treatment on labor supply varies across sociodemographic groups. We estimate the model using rich data on treatment choices and employment decisions of men infected with HIV. In the model, treatments can improve long-run health, but can also cause immediate side effects that interact with the utility cost of work. Estimates indicate that HIV-infected men often forego medication to avoid side effects, in part to remain employed. This effect is stronger for people with fewer years of education, leading to lower use of treatment and worse health outcomes. As a result, while a breakthrough HIV treatment - known as HAART - improved lifetime utility for all patients, it disproportionately benefitted those with higher levels of completed education, thereby reinforcing existing inequality. A counterfactual subsidy that increases non-labor income reduces employment for all education groups, but only increases adoption of HAART and improves health among lower-education individuals, who face a starker health-work tradeoff.
    JEL: I12 I14 I20 J2 O31
    Date: 2021–05
  2. By: Carolina Arteaga Cabrales; Victoria Barone
    Abstract: This paper studies the origins and consequences of the opioid epidemic. Drawing on recently unsealed documents from state litigation against Purdue Pharma, we instrument for the supply of prescription opioids by exploiting features of the initial marketing of OxyContin. We find that moving from the 25th-to-the-75th percentile in the distribution of prescription opioid supply increases deaths from prescription opioids by 89% and deaths from all opioids by 39%. This corresponds to over 200,000 deaths. We estimate that the opioid crisis did not have an effect on labor market outcomes, such as labor force participation or employment rates, but it had adverse effects on socioeconomic conditions, as indicated by increased claims from SNAP and disability and increased crime. We estimate decreases in pregnancy duration, birth weight and health at birth but no effect on infant mortality and we estimate an increase in fertility rates.
    Keywords: Opioids, Mortality, Health
    JEL: I18 I30 J13
    Date: 2021–06–08
  3. By: Yuanyuan Deng; Hanming Fang; Katja Hanewald; Shang Wu
    Abstract: We develop and calibrate a life-cycle model of labor supply and consumption to quantify the implications of alternative pension reforms on labor supply, individual welfare, and government budget for China’s basic old-age insurance program. We focus on urban males and distinguish low-skilled and high-skilled individuals, who differ in their preferences, health and labor income dynamics, and medical expense processes. We use the calibrated model to evaluate three potential pension reforms: (i) increasing the pension eligibility age from 60 to 65, but keeping the current pension benefit rule unchanged; (ii) keeping the pension eligibility age at 60, but proportionally lowering pension benefits so that the pension program’s budget is the same as under Reform (i); and (iii) increasing the pension eligibility age to 65 and simultaneously increasing the pension benefits so that individuals of both skill types attain the same individual welfare levels as in the status quo. We find that relative to the baseline, both Reforms (i) and (ii) can substantially improve the budgets of the pension system, but at the cost of substantial individual welfare loss for both skill types. In contrast, we find that Reform (iii) can modestly improve the budget of the pension system while ensuring that both skill types are as well off as in the status quo. We find that Reforms (i) and (ii) slightly increases, but Reform (iii) slightly decreases, the overall labor supply.
    JEL: D14 D15 H55 J22
    Date: 2021–06
  4. By: Ellegård, Lina Maria (Dept of Economics, Lund University, Sweden); Kjellsson, Gustav (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Mattisson, Linn (Dept of Economics, Lund University, Sweden)
    Abstract: The emergence of markets for online physician consultations -- direct-to-consumers telemedicine (DCT) -- is transforming healthcare services in many nations. The convenience of DCT lowers the cost of seeking care, thus potentially increasing demand. Yet, it is not known whether patients consuming online care turn to traditional providers as well. This is one of the first studies to causally assess to which degree online physician consultations substitute for in-person consultations. We exploit the rapid emergence of a DCT market and exogenous changes in patient fees in a fuzzy difference-in-discontinuities analysis of young adults in two Swedish regions. We find evidence in support of partial substitution and an increase in total physician consultations.
    Keywords: telemedicine; primary health care; co-payments; regression discontinuity design
    JEL: I11 I12 I18
    Date: 2021–06
  5. By: Michele Fioretti (Département d'économie); Hongming Wang (Hitotsubashi University (HIT-U))
    Abstract: Public procurement bodies increasingly resort to pay-for-performance contracts to promote efficient spending. We show that firm responses to pay-for-performance can widen the inequality in accessing social services. Focusing on the quality bonus payment initiative in Medicare Advantage, we find that higher quality-rated insurers responded to bonus payments by selecting healthier enrollees with premium differences across counties. Selection is profitable because the quality rating fails to adjust for differences in enrollee health. Selection inflated the bonus payments and shifted the supply of high-rated insurance to the healthiest counties, reducing access to lower-priced, higher-rated insurance in the riskiest counties.
    Keywords: Pay-for-Performance; Medicare Advantage,; Risk Selection; Quality Ratings; Health Insurance Access
    JEL: I13 I14 L15
    Date: 2021–05
  6. By: Petri Böckerman; Mika Haapanen; Christopher Jepsen
    Abstract: This paper studies the causal effect of parental death on children’s mental health. Combining several nationwide register-based data for Finnish citizens born between 1971 and 1986, we use an event study methodology to analyze hospitalization for mental health-related reasons by the age of 30. We find that there is no clear evidence of increased hospitalization following the death of a parent of a different gender, but there are significant effects for boys losing their fathers and girls losing their mothers. Depression is the most common cause of hospitalization in the first three years following paternal death, whereas anxiety and, to a lesser extent, self-harm are the most common causes five to ten years after paternal death. We also provide descriptive evidence of an increase in the use of mental health-related medications and sickness absence, as well as substantial reductions in years of schooling, employment, and earnings in adulthood for the affected children.
    Keywords: parental death, mental health, hospitalization, depression, labor market
    JEL: I11 I12 J12 J13
    Date: 2021
  7. By: Libertad González Luna; Sofia Trommlerová
    Abstract: We estimate the impact of a cash transfer targeting new mothers on their subsequent children's health outcomes at birth. We exploit the unexpected introduction of a generous, universal child benefit in Spain in 2007. Using population-wide, individual-level, high-quality administrative data from birth records and a regression discontinuity approach, we find that women who received the benefit were much less likely to have low-birth-weight children in the future (while their subsequent fertility was unaffected). The overall effect is driven by poor women, unmarried women, and women with low education, and by births taking place relatively soon after the benefit receipt. The Euro 2,500 transfer led to a 0.7 percentage-point decline in the fraction of children born under 1,500 grams in poorer households in the following five years, an 83% reduction. We explore the underlying channels, and find evidence supporting faster intrauterine growth, possibly driven by better maternal health, nutrition, and behaviors. Gestation length, family structure, and maternal employment do not seem to play a role. Recent research suggests that targeting pregnant women may be more effective than later interventions (such as cash transfers to families with children), given the strong persistence of fetal health effects. Our results suggest that the impact may be stronger if women are targeted even earlier, before conception.
    Keywords: birth weight, cash transfer, fetal health, prenatal period, child benefit
    JEL: H51 I18 J13
    Date: 2021–05
  8. By: Panka Bencsik; Timothy J. Halliday; Bhashkar Mazumder
    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: I14 J62
    Date: 2021–02–23
  9. By: David Gunawan; William Griffiths; Duangkamon Chotikapanich
    Abstract: Bayesian nonparametric estimates of Australian mental health distributions are obtained to assess how the mental health status of the population has changed over time and to compare the mental health status of female/male and indigenous/non-indigenous population subgroups. First- and second-order stochastic dominance are used to compare distributions, with results presented in terms of the posterior probability of dominance and the posterior probability of no dominance. Our results suggest mental health has deteriorated in recent years, that males mental health status is better than that of females, and non-indigenous health status is better than that of the indigenous population.
    Date: 2021–06
  10. By: Borgschulte, Mark; Guenzel, Marius; Liu, Canyao; Malmendier, Ulrike M.
    Abstract: We show that increased job demands due to takeover threats and industry crises have significant adverse consequences for managers' long-term health. Using hand-collected data on the dates of birth and death for more than 1,600 CEOs of large, publicly listed U.S. firms, we estimate that CEOs' lifespan increases by around two years when insulated from market discipline via anti-takeover laws. CEOs also stay on the job longer, with no evidence of a compensating differential in the form of lower pay. In a second analysis, we find diminished longevity arising from increases in job demands caused by industry-wide downturns during a CEO's tenure. Finally, we utilize machine-learning age-estimation methods to detect 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 roughly one year over the next decade.
    Date: 2020–06
  11. By: Rabbitt, Matthew P.; Smith, Michael D.
    Abstract: This report documents the extent and severity of food insecurity among working-age veterans, ages 18–64, who made up 76 percent of the United States’ veteran population in 2019. Food insecurity occurs when individuals have limited or uncertain access to enough food because they lack economic resources. In 2015–19, 11.1 percent of working-age veterans lived in food-insecure households, and 5.3 percent lived in households with very low food security, the most severe range of food insecurity where households report reductions in food intake. Food insecurity varies among working-age veteran subpop-ulations defined by age, area of residence, disability status, educational attainment, gender, geographic region, household composition, income, labor force participation status, race and ethnicity, and military service history. The report compares food insecurity among working-age veterans and nonveterans to examine the association between military service and food insecurity. After adjusting for observable differences between working-age veterans and nonveterans, we find veterans are 7.4 percent more likely to live in a food-insecure household.
    Keywords: Consumer/Household Economics, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Food Security and Poverty, Health Economics and Policy, Public Economics
    Date: 2021–05–26
  12. By: Bruno Conte; Lavinia Piemontese; Augustin Tapsola
    Abstract: This paper investigates the consequences of a locust plague that occurred in Mali in 2004. We argue that in agricultural economies with a single harvest per year, this type of shock can affect households through two channels: first, a speculative/anticipatory effect that kicks in during the growing season, followed by a local crop failure effect after harvest. We show that, in terms of health setbacks, children exposed in utero only to the former suffered as much as those exposed to the latter. We also document a substantial impact of the plague on crop price inflation before the harvest, as well as a stronger crop failure effect for children born in isolated areas.
    Keywords: desert locust swarms, agricultural shocks, local markets, child health
    JEL: O12 I15 Q12 Q18
    Date: 2021
  13. By: Ray Miller; Ashish Kumar Sedai
    Abstract: We examine the association between unpaid caregiving by older Americans and time allocated to labor supply, home production, leisure, and personal care. After controlling for time-invariant heterogeneity using panel time diaries, we find that older caregivers reported reduced time allocated to each domain fairly evenly overall. However, women showed a stronger associated decline in personal care and labor supply while men showed stronger declines in time devoted to home production. Gendered differences are more pronounced with intensive and non-spousal care. Results highlight time-cost differentials that could be driving observed gender gaps in health and labor market outcomes among unpaid caregivers. The study also underscores the serious endogeneity concerns between caregiving and broader time allocation patterns and highlights the need for additional research.
    Keywords: unpaid care, time-use, aging, gender inequality, home production, personal care
    Date: 2021–04
  14. By: O'Mahony, James F
    Abstract: Ireland’s cost-effectiveness threshold is currently €45,000 per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY). It has previously been determined by periodic agreements between the State and a pharma industry lobby body. A new deal is now due and it is therefore timely to re-examine Ireland’s threshold, how it is set and transparency around adherence to it. Previous research has noted a series of problems with the threshold, including that it is likely too high relative to the opportunity cost of unmet need in Ireland’s health system. This means reimbursement at the threshold may do net harm to population health. The high threshold may also mean the Irish health system is failing to satisfy existing legislation on healthcare resource allocation. Recent COVID-19 related pressures on healthcare capacity and public spending appear to increase the urgency for an evidence-based revision of threshold to better reflect opportunity costs within the Irish healthcare system. Despite these problems, the prospects for reform of the threshold do not appear strong as the political and institutional incentives may favour the status quo. At the very least, the State should provide greater transparency regarding how the threshold is set and adhered to. In the longer run, there may be good arguments for partially abandoning thresholds in favour of an auction process to achieve the lowest cost per QALY from new drug interventions.
    Date: 2021–05–30
  15. By: Gazi M Hassan
    Abstract: Remittances’ effect on a household’s health outcome (e.g. Infant mortality) is ambiguous, but the impact on health expenditure is positive and less equivocal in literature. This paper puts the relationship between health expenditure and remittances into a stress test to see whether it survives the adverse impact of climate change. Using a natural experiment of rainfall-driven remittances, I provide an experimental measure for remittances’ effect on the health expenditure among rural households in southern Bangladesh. Health expenditure and remittances are jointly related; therefore, I use the instrumental variable approach. The treatment of remittances is randomly assigned to households who suffered losses due to a natural shock from the cyclone-Roanu enabling the instrument, exogenous variation in rainfall interacted with cyclone affected migrant household’s distance to the local weather stations, to identify the average treatment effect for the treatment group (cyclone-affected remittances recipient households). I find that while remittances cause household health expenditures to increase, the marginal effect of remittances is heterogeneous and negative conditional on the household’s exposure to the level of vulnerability proxied by the household’s distance to cyclone shelter. In other words, the health expenditure-remittances nexus gets weaker with the adverse effect of climate change. Specifically, I find that an increase in remittances by a Taka increases health expenditure by 0.24 Taka (24 Paisa) in the absence of any climate hazard but reduces health expenditure by 0.10 Taka (or 10 Paisa) if the measure of climate vulnerability increases by one standard deviation from its mean value. For countries like Bangladesh, which is exceptionally vulnerable to natural hazards, climate vulnerabilities can render the financing of health care costs through remittances unsustainable even if households receive regular and sizable flows.
    Keywords: Health expenditure, remittances, climate vulnerability, climate change, endogeneity, natural experiment
    JEL: I1 I19 F24
    Date: 2021–06
  16. By: Maoyong Fan (Department of Economics, Ball State University, Whitinger Business Building, Room 201, 2000 W. University Avenue, Muncie, IN 47306); Guojun He (Division of Social Science, Division of Environment and Sustainability, and Department of Economics, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, HK, China); Maigeng Zhou (National Center for Chronic and Noncommunicable Disease Control and Prevention, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, China)
    Abstract: China’s coal-fired winter heating systems generate large amounts of hazardous emissions that significantly deteriorate air quality. Exploiting regression discontinuity designs based on the exact starting dates of winter heating across different cities, we estimate the contemporaneous impact of winter heating on air pollution and health. We find that turning on the winter heating system increased the weekly Air Quality Index by 36% and caused 14% increase in mortality rate. This implies that a 10-point increase in the weekly Air Quality Index causes a 2.2% increase in overall mortality. People in poor and rural areas are particularly affected by the rapid deterioration in air quality; this implies that the health impact of air pollution may be mitigated by improved socio- economic conditions. Exploratory cost-benefit analysis suggests that replacing coal with natural gas for heating can improve social welfare.
    Keywords: Winter Heating Policy, Air Pollution, Mortality, Coal to Gas, Regression Discontinuity
    JEL: Q53 I18 Q48
    Date: 2020–03
  17. By: Feldman, Michal; Gandal, Neil; Pauzner, Ady; Tabbach, Avraham; Yonas, Matan
    Abstract: A large percentage of the deaths from COVID-19 occur among residents of long-term care facilities. There are two possible reasons for this phenomenon. First, the structural features of such settings may lead to death. Alternatively, it is possible that individuals in these facilities are in poorer health than those living elsewhere, and that these individuals would have died even if they had not been in these facilities. Our findings show that, controlling for the population density and the percentage of older adults in the population, there is a significant positive association between the number of long-term care beds per capita and COVID-19 mortality rates. This finding provides support for the claim that long-term care living arrangements (of older people) are a significant risk factor for dying from COVID-19.
    Keywords: Death Due to COVID-19; Empirical Work; Long-Term Care Facilities
    Date: 2020–06
  18. By: Chris Hope (Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge)
    Abstract: The UK-wide lockdown to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented. The government could offer the opportunity for healthy people to choose to be immediately infected with COVID-19 in a controlled way and then confined to their homes until they are no longer infectious. They would then be able to resume something closer to normal life, once sufficient numbers were immune and the government allowed it. We show here that this option could be attractive to many, with an overall net benefit for a representative young, healthy person of 0.34 to 0.71 Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALY). The parameters with the greatest influence on this net benefit are identified.
    Date: 2020–04
  19. By: Nicholas W. Papageorge
    Abstract: Many models from epidemiology are not designed to capture tradeoffs between health and economic well-being and few are equipped to predict how these tradeoffs interact with individuals’ preferences to influence behavior. Policies based on such models may not reflect societal preferences or capture how preferences affect behavior and disease spread. Models with epidemiological processes that do incorporate behavior change or health-wealth tradeoffs (mostly from economics) drastically limit individual-level heterogeneity to remain tractable. This makes it difficult to understand variation in behavioral responses and distributional consequences of the pandemic, which should be central to any evaluation of pandemic-related policy. Without the proper tools, we are unable to fully address even basic policy questions, such as whether the long-run effects of social-distancing justify the costs - and if so, for whom and under what circumstances. After reviewing modeling approaches from epidemiology and economics (among other fields), I propose a framework adapted from earlier work on the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Analysis of individual behavior is based on the idea that health is a form of human capital in which individuals invest through their choices. The model integrates individual level variation that other frameworks omit, but does so at the cost of drastically limiting aggregate economic and epidemiological processes. I conclude that what is needed is a multi-disciplinary effort that helps to bridge gaps across disciplines, which would amount to constructing models that capture key features of different approaches. To be useful in evaluating pandemic-related policy, such a model should have rich heterogeneity and capture how individual choices are linked to the broad contours of disease spread and aggregate economic output. Whether such an effort would be feasible and fruitful remains to be seen.
    JEL: I12 I14 I18 I24 J20
    Date: 2021–06
  20. By: Guojun He (Division of Social Science, Division of Environment and Sustainability, and Department of Economics, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, HK, China); Yuhang Pan (Division of Environment and Sustainability, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Hong Kong); Takanao Tanaka (Division of Social Science, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Hong Kong.)
    Abstract: The rapid spread of COVID-19 is a global public health challenge. To prevent the escalation of its transmission, China locked down one-third of its cities and strictly restricted personal mobility and economic activities. Using timely and comprehensive air quality data in China, we show that these counter-COVID-19 measures led to a remarkable improvement in air quality. Within weeks, the Air Quality Index and PM2.5 concentrations were brought down by 25%. The effects are larger in colder, richer, and more industrialized cities. We estimate that such improvement would avert 24,000 to 36,000 premature deaths from air pollution on a monthly basis.
    Keywords: COVID-19, coronavirus, PM2.5, lockdown, health
    JEL: Q53 Q52 I18 I15
    Date: 2020–03
  21. By: Clarke, Lorcan
    Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has created widespread harm and disruption. Countries have implemented unprecedented measures to protect the lives and livelihoods of their inhabitants. The scope and composition of these responses are shaped, in part, by research and analysis about the estimated economic impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic and proposed responses to it. This analysis outlines basic features and principles involved in economic studies, specifically economic impact studies and economic evaluations, which have formed a significant part of the ever-increasing evidence base about COVID-19. This analysis introduces economic studies in this context, highlighting what they can do, their limitations, and key steps involved in conducting them. It highlights examples of economic analysis focused on COVID-19 and on health emergencies and disasters more broadly. Knowing how economic studies are conducted, and their limitations, will help introduce how their findings can be a useful, usable, and used part of efforts to tackle this global health crisis.
    Keywords: Covid-19; disaster risk management; economic evaluation; economic impact study; health emergency; coronavirus
    JEL: J1
    Date: 2020–05–29
  22. By: Shusaku Sasaki (Faculty of Economics, Tohoku Gakuin University, and Center for Infectious Disease Education and Research (CiDER), Osaka University); Tomoya Saito (Center for Emergency Preparedness and Response, National Institute of Infectious Diseases); Fumio Ohtake (Center for Infectious Disease Education and Research (CiDER) and Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University)
    Abstract: Promoting vaccination is a crucial strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic; however, individual autonomy should be respected at the same time. This study aimed to discover behavioral economics nudges that can reinforce people fs intention to receive the COVID-19 vaccine without impeding their autonomous decision-making. In March 2021, we conducted a pre-registered, online experiment with 1,595 Japanese nationwide sample, and randomly assigned them to one of a control group and three treatment groups that provided the following other-regarding messages: Message A ( gX out of 10 people in your age group answered they would receive this vaccine h), Message B ( gYour vaccination behavior can encourage the vaccination behavior of the people around you h), or Message C ( gIf you do not receive the vaccine, the people around you also may not do so h). By comparing the messages f effects on vaccination intention, autonomous decisionmaking, and emotional burden, we found that Message B was effective in increasing the number of older adults who newly decided to receive the vaccine. Messages A and C further reinforced the intention of older adults who had already planned to receive it. However, Message C, which conveys similar information to Message B with loss-framing, increased viewers f emotional burden. These three messages had no promoting effect for young adults with lower vaccination intentions at baseline. Based on the above findings, we propose that governments should use different messages depending on their purposes and targets, such as Message A instead of Message C, to encourage voluntary vaccination behavior.
    Keywords: Herd immunity, Behavioral public policy, Nudge, Framing effect, Autonomy
    JEL: I12 D91 C90
    Date: 2021–06
  23. By: Carillo, Mario; Jappelli, Tullio
    Abstract: We investigate the link between the 1918 Great Influenza and regional economic growth in Italy, a country in which the measures implemented by public authorities to contain the contagion were limited or ineffective. The pandemic caused about 600,000 deaths in Italy, a death rate of about 1.2%. We find evidence of a strong and significant adverse effect of the pandemic on regional growth. In particular, going from regions with the lowest mortality to those with the highest mortality is associated to a decline in per capita GDP growth of about 6.5%, which dissipated within three years. In line with this finding, we also estimate a small and transitory negative effect of the influenza on industrialization. Our estimates provide an upper bound of the adverse effect of pandemics on local economic growth in the absence of non-pharmaceutical public health interventions.
    Keywords: Great Influenza; mortality and growth; regional growth
    Date: 2020–06
  24. By: Eugenio Proto; Anwen Zhang
    Abstract: Several studies have been devoted to establishing the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on mental health across gender, age and ethnicity. However, much less attention has been paid to the differential effect of lockdown according to different personalities. We do this using the UKHLS longitudinal dataset, representative of the UK population. The UKHLS dataset allows us to assess the mental health of the same respondent during the Covid-19 period and the year before based on their personality “Big Five” traits and cognitive skills. We find that during the Covid-19 period individuals who have more Extrovert and Open personality report a higher mental health deterioration, while the ones scoring higher in Agreeableness are less affected. The effect of Openness is particularly strong: one more standard deviation predict one more symptom on the GHQ12 test for about 1 respondent over 4. In female respondents, Cognitive Skills and Openness are particularly strong predictors of deterioration. Neuroticism seems to predict more mental health deterioration, as it is normal to expect, but this effect is not significant in the main specifications of the estimated model. The study's results are robust to the inclusion of potential confounding variables such as changes in: physical health, household income and job status (like unemployed or furloughed).
    Keywords: Covid-19, mental health, Big 5, cognitive skills
    JEL: I30
    Date: 2021
  25. By: Mohammad Reza Farzanegan; Hans Philipp Hofmann
    Abstract: There is significant cross-country variation in Covid-19 fatalities worldwide. In this study, we analyze the relationship between political trust and fatalities of the Covid-19 pandemic. By performing a cross-country analysis and controlling for other determinants, we find that government trust is negatively associated with Covid-19 cases and deaths. Additionally, our findings suggest that risk communication, in the form of public information campaigns, only decreased Covid-19 cases and deaths in countries with high trust in government. We also find evidence that political trust decreases the risk of removing lockdown policies.
    Keywords: Covid-19, pandemic, trust, lockdown, cross-country regression, voluntary compliance
    JEL: I12 I18
    Date: 2021
  26. By: Merike Blofield; Nora Lustig (Stone Center for Latin American Studies, Department of Economics, Tulane University, Commitment to Equity Institute (CEQ).); Mart Trasberg
    Abstract: In this paper we analyze the COVID-19 policy responses in socialprotection and evaluate to what extent have these measures potentially mitigated the impact of pandemic on inequality and poverty in the region’s four largest countries: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico. There is a considerable variation in the governments’ policy responses and in terms of speed, breadth, and size. All nations put in place some measures to protect the livelihood of formal workers, which included prohibition of layoffs, salary and work hours reductions, and furloughs. Argentina, Brazil and Colombia launched programs to subsidize formal sector employment in companies that were hard hit by the crisis, and Mexico provided loans to small and medium size enterprises. All countries maintained intact their existing non-contributory transfer programs, and Argentina, Brazil and Colombia launched new emergency cash transfer programs, while Mexico did not. Substantial expansions of existing socialassistance or entirely new programs have been able to offset a significant share of the poverty caused by the crisis in Argentinaand Brazil, and to a lesser extent, Colombia.
    Keywords: Covid-19, social protection, poverty, inequality, health, education, Latin America
    JEL: D31 I14 I31 I32 I38
    Date: 2021–01
  27. By: Fuchs-Schündeln, Nicola; Kuhn, Moritz; Tertilt, Michèle
    Abstract: The COVID19 crisis has hit labor markets. School and child-care closures have put families with children in challenging situations. We look at Germany and quantify the macroeconomic importance of working parents. We document that 26 percent of the German workforce have children aged 14 or younger and estimate that 11 percent of workers and 8 percent of all working hours are affected if schools and daycare centers remain closed. In most European countries, the share of affected working hours is even higher. Policies to restart the economy have to accommodate the concerns of these families.
    Keywords: child-care; children; COVID-19; Labor market; Parents; workforce
    JEL: E24 E32 J22
    Date: 2020–06
  28. By: UNAYAMA Takashi; KOMURA Norihiro; HATTORI Takahiro
    Abstract: We estimate the marginal propensity to consume (MPC) for households benefiting from the large cash transfers in the form of the Special Cash Payment in Japan provided during the COVID-19 pandemic. The MPC is identified by exploiting differences in the timing of their payments across municipalities. The estimated MPC is around 10 percent, which is comparable in magnitude to the MPCs in previous studies, suggesting that even during the COVID-19 pandemic the impact of cash transfers on household consumption did not differ from that under normal times. In addition, consumption was classified based on infection risk for COVID-19, and the MPCs for those subcategories are estimated separately. We find that consumers did not increase spending on "face-to-face services," which would increase infection risk, while increasing spending on "goods/services purchased at home" and "goods/services purchased at stores." Cash transfers did not induce consumers to increase consumption that involved higher infection risk.
    Date: 2021–04

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