nep-hea New Economics Papers
on Health Economics
Issue of 2021‒08‒09
24 papers chosen by
Nicolas R. Ziebarth
Cornell University

  1. Physician Response to Prices of Other Physicians: Evidence from a Field Experiment By Barkowski, Scott
  2. Job Displacement, Unemployment Benefits and Domestic Violence By Bhalotra, Sonia; Britto, Diogo G. C.; Pinotti, Paolo; Sampaio, Breno
  3. Long Term Effects of Cash Transfer Programs in Colombia By Orazio P. Attanasio; Lina Cardona-Sosa; Carlos Medina; Costas Meghir; Christian Posso
  4. The Health Externalities of Downsizing By Ahammer, Alexander; Grübl, Dominik; Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf
  5. Maternal age and infant health By Cristina Borra; Libertad González Luna; David Patiño
  6. Measuring the Burden: The Effect of Travel Distance on Abortions and Births By Myers, Caitlin Knowles
  7. Information Nudges and Self-Control By Thomas Mariotti; Nikolaus Schweizer; Nora Szech; Jonas von Wangenheim
  8. Health Externalities and Policy: The Role of Social Preferences By Laura Alfaro; Ester Faia; Nora Lamersdorf; Farzad Saidi
  9. School Health Programs: Education, Health and Welfare Dependency of Young Adults By Abrahamsen, Signe A.; Ginja, Rita; Riise, Julie
  10. The causal effects of employment on mental health and criminality for disabled workers By Remco van Eijkel
  11. Health, Retirement and Economic Shocks By Martinez-Jimenez, M.; Hollingsworth, B.; Zucchelli, E.
  12. Sophistication about self-control By Cobb-Clark, Deborah A.; Dahmann, Sarah Christina; Kamhöfer, Daniel A.; Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah
  13. Health capital norms and intergenerational transmission of non-communicable chronic diseases By Goulão, Catarina; Pérez-Barahona, Agustín
  14. The causal effect of an income shock on children’s human capital By Cristina Borra; Ana Costa-Ramón; Libertad González Luna; Almudena Sevilla
  15. Efficiency of Local Governments in Health Service Delivery: A Stochastic Frontier Analysis By Cuenca, Janet S.
  16. COVID Angels Fighting Daily Demons? Mental Health of Healthcare Workers and Religion By Barili, Emilia; Bertoli, Paola; Grembi, Veronica; Rattini, Veronica
  17. Generation COVID-19 Long Haulers By Julia M. Puaschunder
  18. Generation Post-COVID-19: The Time for Anti-Economics Has Come: Health, Minimalism and Rest By Julia M. Puaschunder
  19. HIV/AIDS and sexual behaviour in Botswana By David Mmopelwa; Oliver Morrissey; Trudy Owens
  20. Risk perception and policy responses to Covid-19: New Evidence By Mafalda Venâncio de Vasconcelos; Filipa Leão de Vasconcelos
  21. Survey evidence of excess mortality in Bihar in the second COVID-19 surge By Bamezai, Apurva; Banaji, Murad; Gupta, Aashish; Pandey, Shivani; MR, Sharan; Sharma, Kanika; Singh, Chanchal Kumar
  22. Spousal Occupational Sorting and COVID-19 Incidence: Evidence from the United States By Egor Malkov
  23. Using Twitter to Track Immigration Sentiment During Early Stages of the COVID-19 Pandemic By Rowe, Francisco; Mahony, Michael; Graells-Garrido, Eduardo; Rango, Marzia; Sievers, Niklas
  24. Inequalities in young peoples' educational experiences and wellbeing during the Covid-19 pandemic By Jake Anders; Lindsey Macmillan; Patrick Sturgis; Gill Wyness

  1. By: Barkowski, Scott
    Abstract: Recent efforts to increase price transparency for American consumers of health care have largely failed to produce savings. Medical-field research on physician-side price transparency, however, has shown promise for savings but suffers from pervasive methodological problems. I perform a field experiment that addresses these measurement difficulties while studying an area that has received little attention: physician referrals. Working with a group of medical practices linked as an Independent Practice Association (IPA), I randomly selected primary care practices to receive a list of average costs -- that is, prices -- for new referrals to six ophthalmology practices that were part of the IPA's provider network. These practices handled the bulk of the IPA's ophthalmology patients and represented substitute providers. Using the IPA's administrative data on referrals, I find that during the first two months following the distribution of the price list, the treatment group primary care physicians (PCPs) increased referral share towards the least expensive ophthalmology practice by 147 percent. These referrals were allocated away from the most expensive practice and those not listed on the report. These effects were only found, however, for patients for whom the PCPs had a cost reduction incentive. The large initial effect dissipated over the following four months. For patients with a limited financial interest for the PCPs, I find little evidence of a treatment response. These contrasting results suggest the PCPs were influenced by cost reduction motives and provide more evidence of the potential for savings from physician-side price transparency.
    Keywords: Physician price transparency; referrals; information
    JEL: D83 I11
    Date: 2021–07–30
  2. By: Bhalotra, Sonia (University of Warwick, CEPR, IZA, IEA); Britto, Diogo G. C. (Bocconi University, BAFFI-CAREFIN, CLEAN Center for the Economic Analysis of Crime, GAPPE/UFPE, IZA); Pinotti, Paolo (Bocconi University, BAFFI-CAREFIN, CLEAN Center for the Economic Analysis of Crime, CEPR); Sampaio, Breno (Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, BAFFI-CAREFIN, CLEAN Center for the Economic Analysis of Crime, GAPPE/UFPE, IZA)
    Abstract: We estimate impacts of male job loss, female job loss, and male unemployment benefits on domestic violence in Brazil. We merge employer-employee and social welfare registers with administrative data on domestic violence cases brought to criminal courts, use of public shelters by victims and mandatory notifications of domestic violence by health providers. Leveraging mass layoffs for identification, we find that both male and female job loss, independently, lead to large and pervasive increases in domestic violence. Exploiting a discontinuity in unemployment insurance eligibility, we find that eligible men are not less likely to commit domestic violence while benefits are being paid, and more likely to commit it once benefits expire. Our findings are consistent with job loss increasing domestic violence on account of a negative income shock and an increase in exposure of victims to perpetrators, with unemployment benefits partially off setting the income shock while reinforcing the exposure shock.
    Keywords: domestic violence ; unemployment ; mass layoffs ; unemployment insurance ; income shock ; exposure ; Brazil
    Date: 2021
  3. By: Orazio P. Attanasio (Cowles Foundation, Yale University); Lina Cardona-Sosa (World Bank); Carlos Medina (Banco de la República); Costas Meghir (Cowles Foundation, Yale University); Christian Posso (Banco de la República)
    Abstract: Conditional Cash transfer (CCT) programs have been shown to have positive effects on a variety of outcomes including education, consumption and health visits, amongst others. We estimate the long-run impacts of the urban version of Familias en Acción, the Colombian CCT program on crime, teenage pregnancy, high school dropout and college enrollment using a Regression Discontinuity design on administrative data. ITT estimates show a reduction on arrest rates of 2.7pp for men and a reduction on teenage pregnancy of 2.3pp for women. High school dropout rates were reduced by 5.8pp and college enrollment was increased by 1.7pp for men.
    Keywords: CCT programs, human capital accumulation, crime, adolescent pregnancy, RDD
    JEL: D04 K42 I23 I28 I38 J13
    Date: 2021–07
  4. By: Ahammer, Alexander; Grübl, Dominik; Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf
    Abstract: We show that downsizing has substantial externalities on the health of workers who remain in the firm. To this end, we study mass layoff (ML) survivors in Austria, using workers who survive a ML themselves, but a few years in the future, as a control group. Based on high‐quality administrative data, we find evidence that downsizing has persistent effects on mental and physical health, and that these effects can be explained by workers fearing for their own jobs. We also show that health externalities due to downsizing imply non‐negligible cost for firms, and that wage cuts may have similar effects.
    Keywords: Downsizing, Survivors, Mass Layoffs, Health, Job Insecurity
    Date: 2021–07–05
  5. By: Cristina Borra; Libertad González Luna; David Patiño
    Abstract: We study the effects of maternal age on infant health. Age at birth has been increasing for the past several decades in many countries, and correlations show that health at birth is worse for children born to older mothers. In order to identify causal effects, we exploit school entry cutoffs and the empirical finding that women who are older for their cohort in school tend to give birth later. In Spain, children born in December start school a year earlier than those born the following January, despite being essentially the same age. We show that as a result, January-born women finish school later and are (several months) older when they marry and when they have their first child. We find no effect on educational attainment. We then compare the health at birth of the children of women born in January versus the previous December, using administrative, population-level data, and following a regression discontinuity design. We find small and insignificant effects on average weight at birth, but the children of January-born mothers are more likely to have very low birthweight. We interpret our results as suggestive of a causal effect of maternal age on infant health, concentrated in the left tail of the birthweight distribution, with older mothers more likely to give birth to (very) premature babies.
    Keywords: Maternal age, infant health, school cohort.
    JEL: I12 J12 J13
    Date: 2021–07
  6. By: Myers, Caitlin Knowles (Middlebury College)
    Abstract: I compile and disseminate novel panel data sets measuring county-level travel distances to abortion facilities and resident abortion rates. Using these data and exploiting temporal and spatial variation in distances, I implement difference-in-difference research designs measuring the causal effects of distance to the nearest abortion facility. The results indicate large and non-linear effect: An increase in travel distance from 0 to 100 miles—a level that courts have generally treated as not unduly burdensome for women seeking abortions—is estimated to prevent 20.5% of women seeking an abortion from reaching a provider, and in turn to increase births by 2.4%.
    Keywords: travel distance, abortions, births
    JEL: I11 I12 J13
    Date: 2021–07
  7. By: Thomas Mariotti; Nikolaus Schweizer; Nora Szech; Jonas von Wangenheim
    Abstract: We study the optimal design of information nudges for present-biased consumers who make sequential consumption decisions without exact prior knowledge of their long-term consequences. For any distribution of risks, there exists a consumer-optimal information nudge that is of cutoff type, recommending abstinence if the risk is high enough. Depending on the distribution of risks, more or less consumers have to be sacrificed, as they cannot be credibly warned even though they would like to be. Under a stronger bias for the present, the target group receiving a credible warning to abstain must be tightened, but this need not increase the probability of harmful consumption. If some consumers are more strongly present-biased than others, traffic-light nudges turn out to be optimal and, when subgroups of consumers differ sufficiently, the optimal traffic-light nudge is also subgroup-optimal. We finally compare the consumer-optimal nudge with those a health authority or a lobbyist would favor.
    Keywords: Nudges, Information Design, Present-Biased Preferences, Self-Control
    JEL: C73 D82
    Date: 2021–07
  8. By: Laura Alfaro (Harvard Business School & NBER); Ester Faia (Goethe University Frankfurt & CEPR); Nora Lamersdorf (Goethe University Frankfurt); Farzad Saidi (University of Bonn & CEPR)
    Abstract: Social preferences facilitate the internalization of health externalities, for ex-ample by reducing mobility during a pandemic. We test this hypothesis using mobility data from 258 cities worldwide alongside experimentally validated measures of social preferences. Controlling for time-varying heterogeneity that could arise at the level at which mitigation policies are implemented, we find that they matter less in regions that are more altruistic, patient, or exhibit less negative reciprocity. In those regions, mobility falls ahead of lockdowns, and remains low after the lifting thereof. Our results elucidate the importance, independent of the cultural context, of social preferences in fostering cooperative behavior.
    Keywords: social preferences, pandemics, mobility, health externalities, mitigation policies
    JEL: D01 D62 D64 D91 I10 I18
    Date: 2021–08
  9. By: Abrahamsen, Signe A.; Ginja, Rita; Riise, Julie
    Abstract: This paper provides new evidence that preventive health care services delivered at schools and provided at a relatively low cost have positive and lasting impacts. We use variation from a 1999‐reform in Norway that induced substantial differences in the availability of health professionals across municipalities and cohorts. In municipalities with one fewer school nurse per 1,000 schoolage children before the reform there was an increase in the availability of nurses of 35% from the pre‐ to the post‐reform period, attributed to the policy change. The reform reduced teenage pregnancies and increased college attendance for girls. It also reduced the take‐up of welfare benefits by ages 26 and 30 and increased the planned use of primary and specialist health care services at ages 25‐35, without impacts on emergency room admissions. The reform also improved the health of newborns of affected new mothers and reduced the likelihood of miscarriages.
    Keywords: School Health Services, Teenage Pregnancy, Welfare Dependency, Utilization of Health Services, Health Status
    Date: 2021–07–29
  10. By: Remco van Eijkel (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis)
    Abstract: In this paper, we study to what extent employment generates spillover effects on other life domains for persons with a work disability. We find that that paid work reduces the probability of using mental health care by 7 percentage points, engaging in criminal activity by 3 percentage points and using non-medical home care by 8 percentage points. Relative to the baseline prevalence in our sample of disabled persons, these effects range between 30 and 60 percent. Increasing labor participation of disabled workers thus generates beneficial effects on other important life domains like health and social behavior. This not only benefits disabled workers in the form of a higher quality of life and lower out-of-pocket payments on health care, but also society as a whole in the form of lower public expenditures on health care and crime. Our paper therefore contributes to a better understanding of the full benefits of activation policies targeted at disabled people.
    JEL: J68 H75 I18
    Date: 2021–07
  11. By: Martinez-Jimenez, M.; Hollingsworth, B.; Zucchelli, E.
    Abstract: We explore the effects of retirement on both physical and mental ill-health and whether these change in the presence of economic shocks. We employ inverse probability weighting regression adjustment to examine the mechanisms influencing the relationship between retirement and health and a difference-in-differences approach combined with matching to investigate whether the health effects of retirement are affected by the Great Recession. We estimate these models on data drawn from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) and find that retirement leads to a deterioration in both mental and physical health, however there seems to be considerable effect heterogeneity by gender and occupational status. Our findings also suggest that retiring shortly after the Great Recession appears to improve mental and physical health, although only among individuals working in the most affected regions. Overall, our results indicate that the health effects of retirement might be influenced by the presence of economic shocks.
    Keywords: retirement; health; Great Recession; ELSA;
    JEL: J14 J26 I10
    Date: 2021–07
  12. By: Cobb-Clark, Deborah A.; Dahmann, Sarah Christina; Kamhöfer, Daniel A.; Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah
    Abstract: We propose a broadly applicable empirical approach to classify individuals as timeconsistent versus naïve or sophisticated regarding their self-control limitations. Operationalizing our approach based on nationally representative data reveals that self-control problems are pervasive and that most people are at least partly aware of their limited self-control. Compared to naïfs, sophisticates have higher IQs, better educated parents, and are more likely to take up commitment devices. Accounting for both the level and awareness of self-control limitations has predictive power beyond one-dimensional notions of self-control that neglect awareness. Importantly, sophistication fully compensates for self-control problems when choices involve immediate costs and later benefits. Raising people's awareness of their own self-control limitations may thus assist them in overcoming any adverse consequences.
    Keywords: self-control,sophistication,naïveté,commitment devices,present bias
    Date: 2021
  13. By: Goulão, Catarina; Pérez-Barahona, Agustín
    Abstract: We look at how social norms regarding health aect the dynamics of an epidemic of NCDs. We present an overlapping generations model in which agents live for three periods (childhood, adulthood and old age). Adulthood consumption choices have a impact on the health capital of the following period, which is in part inherited by their ospring and aects their osprings' probability of developing a NCD. As a result of this intergenerational externality, agents would choose lower health conditions and higher unhealthy activities than that which is socially optimal. In addition, parental choices aect their own old age health capital with which their ospring compare their own. A social norm imposing agents to be as healthy as the previous generation balances the negative eects of unhealthy adulthood choices. Fiscal policies alone or combined with public policies regarding social norms can be used to restore optimality. Our results underline the interplay between sin taxes and health-related social norms.
    JEL: H21 H23 I18
    Date: 2021–07–30
  14. By: Cristina Borra; Ana Costa-Ramón; Libertad González Luna; Almudena Sevilla
    Abstract: We investigate the causal impact of a generous unconditional cash transfer at birth on children's later health outcomes and academic performance. Using rich administrative data, we take advantage of the unexpected introduction of a "baby bonus" in Spain in 2007, and implement a difference-in-discontinuity approach comparing children born in the surrounding months in different years. We find that the subsidy did not have a significant effect on health outcomes during childhood, nor on test scores in primary school. In line with this result, we show that the benefit did not affect the main potential mechanisms that could in turn have affected children's health and academic performance. Our results contribute to understanding which interventions are effective at improving children's health and human capital formation.
    Keywords: children, health, education, income shock, Child benefit, Spain
    JEL: I12 J13 H31 H24
    Date: 2021–07
  15. By: Cuenca, Janet S.
    Abstract: The study analyzes the efficiency implications of fiscal decentralization using stochastic frontier analysis (SFA). It uses health expenditure (in per capita real terms) data from local government units (LGUs) as input. The output variables of interest include access to safe water and sanitation, health facility-based delivery, and access to hospital inpatient services. It also uses LGU income and its major components (i.e., own-source revenue and income revenue allotment, in per capita real terms) as covariates, as well as the health expenditure decentralization ratio, to account for fiscal autonomy on the expenditure side. Two measures of fiscal decentralization were also used as factors affecting efficiency to account for financial/fiscal autonomy of the LGUs on the income side (i.e., the ratio of own-source revenue to expenditures and ratio of own-source revenue to income). Issues on mismatch between local government fiscal capacity and devolved functions, fragmentation of health system, existence of two-track delivery system, and unclear expenditure assignments, among others, inevitably create inefficiency. These issues should be addressed to fully reap the potential benefits (e.g., efficiency gains) from fiscal decentralization, particularly health devolution.
    Keywords: efficiency, Philippines, fiscal decentralization, health devolution, stochastic frontier analysis
    Date: 2020
  16. By: Barili, Emilia; Bertoli, Paola; Grembi, Veronica; Rattini, Veronica
    Abstract: Relying on a unique survey of more than 15,000 respondents conducted from June to August 2020 in Italy, we show that priming religiosity in healthcare workers decreases the level of self‐assessed mental distress experienced during the first wave of the COVID‐19. We show that priming religiosity decreases self‐assessed mental distress by 9.5%. Consistent with the idea that religiosity serves as a coping mechanism, this effect is stronger for the more impacted categories (e.g., hospital workers) and for respondents facing more stressful situations, such as being reassigned due to the COVID‐19 emergency or working in a COVID‐19‐related specialty (e.g., emergency care), among others. Moreover, higher effects occurs also among physicians who self‐classify as religious, while this distinction does not apply for nurses.
    Keywords: Healthcare Workers, COVID‐19, Mental Health, Coping Mechanisms, Religiosity
    Date: 2021–07–15
  17. By: Julia M. Puaschunder (The New School, Department of Economics, USA)
    Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic, which started at the end of 2019, has been spreading around the world for over a year by now and no clear end is foreseeable yet. While vaccination and medication opportunities to cure the disease have improved impressively and steadily, the most recent coverage of the crisis features yet another set of devastating news as around 10 to over 30% of previously COVID-infected are estimated to become suffering from long haul symptoms. While our first understanding of post-COVID infection long haul symptoms, impetus and cure is still missing, this article provides a speculative account of the socio-economic impact of the newly emerging Generation COVID-19 Long Haulers. Demographically, COVID Long Haulers will be prevalently arising in a 0.3-1.659 billion Long Haulers strong cohort comprised of around 30-40 years old women at infection facing waves of recurrent symptoms of fatigue, headaches and breathing problems as well as a set of debilitating memory fog and emotional distress. While the causes and long-term lasting effects are unclear and to be investigated in the future, first preliminary results on a potential cure via vaccination and self-help movement has arisen in the age of social media. Facebook Long Hauler groups have leveraged as quick and trusted remedy to understand and provide support during a time when hospitals around the world are still facing a more pressing situation of overloaded emergency care. Future research demands for preventive medical care guided by real-time measurement of health status but also the socio-economics of rest and recovery need to be explored.
    Keywords: COVID-19, Crisis, Debilitation, Emotional impairment, Fatigue, Headaches, Memory fog, Generation COVID-19 Long Haulers, Healthcare, Medication, Preventive care, Respiratory symptoms, Self-measurement, Vaccination
    Date: 2021–05
  18. By: Julia M. Puaschunder (The New School, Department of Economics, USA)
    Abstract: This paper makes the heterodox economic case of missing attention to health, minimization and rest in business, finance and economics. The COVID-19 pandemic has been addressed as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to a Great Reset. Started at the end of 2019, COVID-19 has been spreading around the world for over a year by now and no clear end is foreseeable yet. While vaccination and medication opportunities to cure the disease have improved impressively and steadily, the COVID-19 healthcare crisis also entails around 10 to over 30% of previously COVID-infected to be suffering from long haul symptoms. While our first understanding of post-COVID infection long haul symptoms, impetus and cure is still missing, there is hardening evidence that the newly emerging Generation COVID-19 Long Haulers may comprise of 0.3-1.659 billion previously infected with recurrent symptoms of fatigue, headaches and breathing problems as well as a set of debilitating memory fog and emotional distress. With this generation of COVID-19 Long Haulers, who are by around 70-75% female and of a median age in their 30s and 40s, a dramatic shift to demand for health, minimalism and rest is predicted to emerge. Neoclassical ideas of business, finance and economic research have a limited understanding of health. Maximization pledges of productivity driven industries in business, finance and economics do not account for minimalism. Foremost behavioral economics started to address cognitive overload and decision-making failures in a too complex world. There is no appreciation for rest in finance and economics. All these trends of attention to health, minimalism and rest the COVID-19 Long Haulers generation may change lastingly.
    Keywords: Behavioral economics, Business, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Crisis, Debilitation, Economics, Emotional impairment, Fatigue, Finance, Headaches, Heterodox Economics, Generation COVID-19 Long Haulers, Healthcare, Medication, Memory fog, Minimalism, Preventive care, Respiratory symptoms, Rest, Self-measurement, Vaccination
    Date: 2021–05
  19. By: David Mmopelwa; Oliver Morrissey; Trudy Owens
    Abstract: Using three waves of the Botswana AIDS Impact Survey (BAIS) collected by Statistics Botswana, we investigate how sexual behaviour, measured by number of partners and condom use, responds to objective and perceived risk; objective risk is captured by the HIV prevalence rate and perceived risk is represented by concern about the likelihood of being infected by HIV. Indicators of knowledge about HIV, which may affect behaviour and risk perceptions, are included. Endogeneity is addressed through instrumental variables, with HIV prevalence rate instrumented by the distance from respondent`s area of residence to the district with the highest rate, while perceived risk is instrumented by duration (in months) between antiretroviral therapy (ART) rollout and the survey date. The HIV prevalence rate has no significant effect on the number of sexual partners or use of condoms but behaviour responds to changes in perceived risk: those who report becoming more concerned about infection or those who perceive their partners to be unfaithful are more likely to report condom use whereas those who report becoming less concerned are less likely to abstain and use a condom. The effectiveness of advice on health behaviour may be undermined by moral hazard.
    Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Health Risks, Sexual Behaviour, Botswana
    Date: 2021
  20. By: Mafalda Venâncio de Vasconcelos; Filipa Leão de Vasconcelos
    Abstract: Governments around the world have been taking unprecedent responses in order to slow down the spread of Covid-19, a highly infectious disease caused by the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Although containment measures imposed by governments may help to contain the spread of the virus they had led to large economic and social costs. In this study we link psychological vulnerabilities to economics in an attempt to analyze the impact of government containment measures on citizens' risk perception of death directly caused by Covid-19. In the context of pandemic, it is crucial to understand if restrictions imposed by governments impact people's risk perception. If people perceive higher risk, they will be more prone to follow health authorities' recommendations and there are higher chances that the pandemic will be brought under control. Our study presents evidence that during the first wave of Covid-19, stringent containment measures imposed by governments increase citizens' risk perception. We also find that economic activity is also an important driver of risk perception, namely, higher economic activity decreases people's risk perception of death directly caused by Covid-19.
    Keywords: Containment measures; Covid-19; Economic activity; Google search; Media; Stringency index
    Date: 2021
  21. By: Bamezai, Apurva; Banaji, Murad; Gupta, Aashish; Pandey, Shivani; MR, Sharan; Sharma, Kanika; Singh, Chanchal Kumar
    Abstract: The second surge of COVID-19 had a large mortality impact in India. However, there are few reliable estimates of the magnitude of this impact for India’s poorer states. This note presents results of a small-scale phone survey in Bihar which interviewed a random sample of beneficiaries of the state’s Public Distribution System. This pilot survey was conducted in June 2021 and asked more than 500 respondents about any deaths in their household since April 1, 2021.We observe an annualized Crude Death Rate of 24.3 deaths per 1,000 [95% CI 13.0-37.4] during the second surge of the pandemic in Bihar. The observed death rate is more than four times baseline mortality (5.8 deaths per 1,000 per year). The probability that mortality during the second surge was at least thrice the level of baseline mortality is 0.88. This large surge in mortality warrants an urgent public discussion on state priorities in Bihar. It also suggests the viability of and need for continuous large-scale mortality surveys.
    Date: 2020–12–27
  22. By: Egor Malkov
    Abstract: How do matching of spouses and the nature of work jointly shape the distribution of COVID-19 health risk? To address this question, I study the association between the incidence of COVID-19 and the degree of spousal sorting into occupations that differ by contact intensity at the workplace. The mechanism, that I explore, implies that the higher degree of positive spousal sorting mitigates intra-household contagion and this translates into smaller number of individuals exposed to COVID-19 risk. Using the U.S. data at the state level, I argue that spousal sorting is an important factor for understanding the disparities in the prevalence of COVID-19 during the early stages of the pandemic. First, I document that it creates about two thirds of the U.S. dual-earner couples that are exposed to higher COVID-19 health risk due to within-household transmission. Moreover, I uncover a substantial heterogeneity in the degree of spousal sorting by state. Next, for the first week of April 2020, I estimate that a one standard deviation increase in the measure of spousal sorting is associated with a 30% reduction in the total number of cases per 100000 inhabitants, and a 39.3% decline in the total number of deaths per 100000 inhabitants. Furthermore, I find substantial temporal heterogeneity as the coefficients decline in magnitude over time. My results speak to the importance of policies that allow to mitigate intra-household contagion.
    Date: 2021–07
  23. By: Rowe, Francisco (University of Liverpool); Mahony, Michael; Graells-Garrido, Eduardo; Rango, Marzia; Sievers, Niklas
    Abstract: In 2020, the world faced an unprecedented challenge to tackle and understand the spread and impacts of COVID- 19. Large-scale coordinated efforts have been dedicated to understand the global health and economic implications of the pandemic. Yet, the rapid spread of discrimination and xenophobia against specific populations, particularly migrants and individuals of Asian descent, has largely been neglected. Understanding public attitudes towards migration is essential to counter discrimination against immigrants and promote social cohesion. Traditional data sources to monitor public opinion – ethnographies, interviews, and surveys – are often limited due to small samples, high cost, low temporal frequency, slow collection, release and coarse spatial resolution. New forms of data, particularly from social media, can help overcome these limitations. While some bias exists, social media data are produced at an unprecedented temporal frequency, geographical granularity, are collected globally and accessible in real-time. Drawing on a data set of 30.39 million tweets and natural language processing, this paper aims to measure shifts in public sentiment opinion about migration during early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. Results show an increase of migration-related Tweets along with COVID-19 cases during national lockdowns in all five countries. Yet, we found no evidence of a significant increase in anti-immigration sentiment, as rises in the volume of negative messages are offset by comparable increases in positive messages. Additionally, we presented evidence of growing social polarisation concerning migration, showing high concentrations of strongly positive and strongly negative sentiments.
    Date: 2021–07–25
  24. By: Jake Anders (UCL Centre for Education Policy & Equalising Opportunities); Lindsey Macmillan (UCL Centre for Education Policy & Equalising Opportunities); Patrick Sturgis (LSE Department of Methodology); Gill Wyness (UCL Centre for Education Policy & Equalising Opportunities)
    Abstract: While the health risks of Covid-19 for young people are low, they have borne a heavy cost of the pandemic through intense disruption to their education and social lives. These effects have not been experienced equally across social and demographic groups. Using data from a nationally representative survey of 4,000 young people linked to their education records, we study inequalities in young people's experiences of the Covid-19 pandemic. We find particularly stark inequalities by socio-economic status, with young people from poorer families facing disadvantage on multiple fronts, particularly in their experiences of home learning, returning to school, and exam cancellations compared to more advantaged young people. Gender and ethnic inequalities were more mixed, though young females reported significantly lower wellbeing scores than males. This evidence suggests that the pandemic has exacerbated existing inequalities, meaning policymakers concerned with increasing equity and social mobility now face an even bigger task than before.
    Keywords: Covid-19; socio-economic status; gender; ethnicity; wellbeing; inequality.
    JEL: I24
    Date: 2021–07

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