nep-hea New Economics Papers
on Health Economics
Issue of 2021‒09‒27
twenty-two papers chosen by
Nicolas R. Ziebarth
Cornell University

  1. The Affordable Care Act After a Decade: Its Impact on the Labor Market and the Macro Economy By Hanming Fang; Dirk Krueger
  2. The Great Divide: Education, Despair and Death By Anne Case; Angus Deaton
  3. The Impact of Financial Assistance Programs on Health Care Utilization By Alyce S. Adams; Raymond Kluender; Neale Mahoney; Jinglin Wang; Francis Wong; Wesley Yin
  4. The Effect of Safety Net Generosity on Maternal Mental Health and Risky Health Behaviors By Lucie Schmidt; Lara Shore-Sheppard; Tara Watson
  5. Inequality in Early Care Experienced by U.S. Children By Sarah Flood; Joel F.S. McMurry; Aaron Sojourner; Matthew J. Wiswall
  6. The Consequences of Chronic Pain in Mid-Life: Evidence from the National Child Development Survey By David G. Blanchflower; Alex Bryson
  7. Digital tools for worker management and psycho-social risks in the workplace: evidence from the ESENER survey By Cesira Urzi Brancati; Maurizio Curtarelli
  8. Does Sports Make People Happier, or Do Happy People More Sports? By Bruno S. Frey; Anthony Gullo
  9. The Lower Drug Costs Now Act and Pharmaceutical Innovation By Hitch, J.; Firth, I.; Hampson, G.; Jofre-Bonet, M.; Garau, M.; Garrison, L.; Cookson, G.
  10. The Social Value of Public Information When Not Everyone is Privately Informed By Stephanie L. Chan
  11. Nursing homes' competition and distributional implications when the market is two-sided By David Bardey; Luigi Siciliani
  12. Locked down. A study of the mental health of French Management School students during the COVID-19 health crisis using the POMS questionnaire By Justeau, Stéphane; Musson, Anne; Rousselière, Damien
  13. The Covid-19 containment effects of public health measures: A spatial difference-in-differences approach By Kosfeld, Reinhold; Mitze, Timo; Rode, Johannes; Wälde, Klaus
  14. An AI-assisted Economic Model of Endogenous Mobility and Infectious Diseases: The Case of COVID-19 in the United States By Lin William Cong; Ke Tang; Bing Wang; Jingyuan Wang
  15. On the Macrodynamics of COVID-19 Vaccination. By Datta, Soumya; C. Saratchand
  16. Nursing home aversion post-pandemic: Implications for savings and long-term care policy By Bertrand Achou; Philippe De Donder; Franca Glenzer; Minjoon Lee; Marie-Louise Leroux
  17. The state of health of the Russian population during the pandemic (according to sample surveys) By Leysan Anvarovna Davletshina; Natalia Alekseevna Sadovnikova; Alexander Valeryevich Bezrukov; Olga Guryevna Lebedinskaya
  18. Citizens from 13 countries share similar preferences for COVID-19 vaccine allocation priorities By Raymond Duch; Laurence Roope; Mara Violato; Mf Becerra; T. Robinson; Jean-François Bonnefon; Jorge Friedman; Peter Loewen; P. Mamidi; Alessia Melegaro; M. Blanco; J. Vargas; J. Seither; P. Candio; Ag Cruz; X. Hua; Adrian Barnett; Philip Clarke
  19. The Pandemic’s Effect on Demand for Public Schools, Homeschooling, and Private Schools By Tareena Musaddiq; Kevin M. Stange; Andrew Bacher-Hicks; Joshua Goodman
  20. Behavioural economics and the COVID-induced education crisis By Nicholas Biddle
  21. Development in the Global South at risk: Economic and social effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in developing countries By Tondl, Gabriele
  22. The impact of COVID-19 on mobility choices in Switzerland By Hintermann, Beat; Schoeman, Beaumont; Molloy, Joseph; Schatzmann, Thomas; Tchervenkov, Christopher; Axhausen, Kay W.

  1. By: Hanming Fang; Dirk Krueger
    Abstract: The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is one of the most important reforms of the US health insurance system since the introduction of Medicare. Since employment is a main source of health insurance for the working age population in the United States, this sweeping health insurance reform also has important implications for the labor market and the macro economy. In this paper, we survey the prototype models that are used in the macro and labor literature, extended to integrate health and health insurance, to study the short- and long-run consequences of the ACA. We also suggest open areas for future research.
    JEL: E62 H51 I1 I13 I18 J33
    Date: 2021–09
  2. By: Anne Case; Angus Deaton
    Abstract: Deaths of despair, morbidity and emotional distress continue to rise in the US. The increases are largely borne by those without a four-year college degree—the majority of American adults. For many less-educated Americans, the economy and society are no longer providing the basis for a good life. Concurrently, all-cause mortality in the US is diverging by education—falling for the college-educated and rising for those without a degree—something not seen in other rich countries. We review the rising prevalence of pain, despair, and suicide among Americans without a BA. Pain and despair created a baseline demand for opioids, but the escalation of addiction came from pharma and its political enablers. We examine “the politics of despair,” how less-educated people have abandoned and been abandoned by the Democratic Party. While healthier states once voted Republican in presidential elections, now the least-healthy states do. We review the evidence on whether or not deaths of despair have risen during the COVID pandemic. More broadly, excess mortality from COVID has not increased the ratio of all-cause mortality rates for those with and without a four-year degree, but has instead replicated the pre-existing mortality ratio.
    JEL: I0 J1
    Date: 2021–09
  3. By: Alyce S. Adams; Raymond Kluender; Neale Mahoney; Jinglin Wang; Francis Wong; Wesley Yin
    Abstract: Most hospitals and managed care organizations have financial assistance programs that aim to reduce financial burdens and improve health care access for low-income patients. We use administrative data from Kaiser Permanente to study the effects of financial assistance on health care utilization. Using a regression discontinuity design based on an income threshold for program eligibility, we find that financial assistance significantly increases health care utilization initially, though effects dissipate three quarters after program receipt. Financial assistance also increases the detection of and medication refills for treatment-sensitive conditions, suggesting financial assistance may increase receipt of high-value care.
    JEL: I1 I18
    Date: 2021–09
  4. By: Lucie Schmidt; Lara Shore-Sheppard; Tara Watson
    Abstract: A generous safety net may improve mental health outcomes and stress-related health behaviors for single mothers by promoting financial security, but stigma and hassle associated with welfare use could offset some of these gains. We use a simulated safety net eligibility approach that accounts for interactions across safety net programs and relies on changing policies across states and time to identify causal effects of safety net generosity on psychological distress and risky behaviors of single mothers. Our results suggest that a more generous safety net is protective of maternal mental health: we estimate that a $1000 increase to the combined cash and food benefit package reduces severe psychological distress by 5.5 percent. Breaking out effects by individual programs while still controlling for potential benefits from other programs, we find that this reduction is entirely due to simulated tax credit eligibility and appears to occur in the first half of the year, when such benefits are typically received. We find no significant effect of the overall safety net on risky behaviors like smoking and heavy drinking, but this masks offsetting effects of cash and food benefits, suggesting that the impact of improved financial resources depends on details of transfer program design.
    JEL: I12 I38
    Date: 2021–09
  5. By: Sarah Flood; Joel F.S. McMurry; Aaron Sojourner; Matthew J. Wiswall
    Abstract: Using every major nationally-representative dataset on parental and non-parental care provided to children up to age 6, we quantify differences in American children’s care experiences by socioeconomic status (SES), proxied primarily with maternal education. Increasingly, higher-SES children spend less time with their parents and more time in the care of others. Non-parental care for high-SES children is more likely to be in childcare centers, where average quality is higher, and less likely to be provided by relatives where average quality is lower. Even within types of childcare, higher-SES children tend to receive care of higher measured quality and higher cost. Inequality is evident at home as well: measures of parental enrichment at home, from both self-reports and outside observers, are on average higher for higher-SES children. We also find that parental and non-parental quality is reinforcing: children who receive higher quality non-parental care also tend to receive higher quality parental care. Head Start, one of the largest government care subsidy programs for low-income households, reduces inequality in care provided, but it is mainly limited to older children and to the lowest income households. Our evidence is from the pre-COVID-19 period, and the latest year we examine is 2019.
    JEL: I24 J13
    Date: 2021–09
  6. By: David G. Blanchflower (Bruce V. Rauner ’78 Professor of Economics, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH 03755-3514. Adam Smith School of Business, University of Glasgow and NBER); Alex Bryson (Professor of Quantitative Social Science, UCL Social Research Institute, University College London, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL)
    Abstract: Using data from all those born in a single week in 1958 in Britain we track the consequences of short pain and chronic pain in mid-life (age 44) on health, wellbeing and labor market outcomes in later life. We examine data taken at age 50 in 2008, when the Great Recession hit and then five years later at age 55 in 2013. We find those suffering both short-term and chronic pain at age 44 continue to report pain and poor general health in their 50s. However, the associations are much stronger for those with chronic pain. Furthermore, chronic pain at age 44 is associated with a range of poor mental health outcomes, pessimism about the future and joblessness at age 55 whereas short-duration pain at age 44 is not. Uniquely, we also show that pain experienced in childhood, at ages 11 and 16, reported by a parent and a teacher respectively, collected decades earlier, predicts pain in mid-life, indicating just how persistent pain can be over the life-course.
    Keywords: pain; mental health; general health; sleep; paid work; wellbeing; life-course; birth cohort; NCDS
    JEL: I12 I31
    Date: 2021–09–01
  7. By: Cesira Urzi Brancati (European Commission – JRC); Maurizio Curtarelli (EU-OSHA)
    Abstract: This article explores the association between digital technologies that enable new forms of management and the presence of psychosocial risks in the workplace, drawing on a representative survey of European establishments (ESENER 2019). It also ascertains whether occupational safety and health (OSH) preventive measures and policies may play a mitigating role in managing risks and reducing the potentially negative impact of technology. In line with the literature and with prior expectations, our analysis reveals that digital technologies enabling the new forms of management are associated to increased psychosocial risks, which in turn can result in work-related stress and other mental health issues. It also confirmed that OSH measures, such as having an action plan to prevent work related stress, help reducing psychosocial risks in the workplace, but do not mitigate the relationship between psychosocial risks and management technologies.
    Keywords: algorithmic management; digitalisation; workplace monitoring; psychosocial risks; work related stress
    JEL: I10 I12 I18 O33
    Date: 2021–09
  8. By: Bruno S. Frey; Anthony Gullo
    Abstract: We contribute to the happiness literature by analyzing the causal relationship between sports and happiness. Using longitudinal data from the German Socio- Economic Panel (GSOEP), we find a positive correlation between sports participa- tion and reported life satisfaction. This relationship is stronger at younger and older ages than in middle age, and for people in bad health compared to those in average health. We further provide evidence for both causal directions. It turns out that the causal impact of engaging in sports on happiness is about four times higher than the effect of happiness on engaging in sports.
    Keywords: happiness; life satisfaction; well-being; sports; causality
    Date: 2021–09
  9. By: Hitch, J.; Firth, I.; Hampson, G.; Jofre-Bonet, M.; Garau, M.; Garrison, L.; Cookson, G.
    Abstract: The US spends more on healthcare than any other country in the world. H.R. 3 is a recent policy proposal aimed at reducing national spending on prescription drugs, one component of overall healthcare spending. Drug manufacturers would be required to negotiate prices with the US government, and prices would be capped at a level based on the prices of the drug in a set of foreign countries. Evaluation of a policy with such large potential impact on pharmaceutical revenues must consider potential negative effects on incentives to innovate. However, the relationship between prices (and revenues) and new drug approvals is uncertain, and there are significant limitations with the existing policy analysis. This short executive summary report summarises the methods and main insights from a study into the likely impacts of H.R. 3 on outcomes related to (bio)pharmaceutical innovation. The study consisted of two workstreams - 1) a set of interviews with key decision-makers in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and healthcare investment industries, and 2) an expert elicitation exercise with academic and industry-oriented economists. After summarising the methods separately, the document concludes with the main insights across the two workstreams
    Keywords: Economics of Innovation
    JEL: I1
    Date: 2021–09–01
  10. By: Stephanie L. Chan (Xiamen University)
    Abstract: When there is strategic complementarity and all agents have access to public information, but only a subset of them has access to private information, strategic complementarity within the subset of privately-informed agents enhances the focal power of public information. This results to an expected social welfare function that is convex in the precision of both private and public information. The welfare gain from increasing the precision of the public information always exceeds the welfare loss from the underutilization of private information by a subset of agents. The results support the use of public information campaigns to change agent behavior regarding risky health behavior, public health crises and social injustices. The findings are robust to several extensions such as biased perceptions about public signals and costly acquisition of private information.
    Keywords: coordination, information asymmetry, private information, public information, strategic complementarity, welfare
    JEL: C70 D80 D82 D83 D84
    Date: 2021–09–18
  11. By: David Bardey (TSE - Toulouse School of Economics - UT1 - Université Toulouse 1 Capitole - Université Fédérale Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, UNIANDES - Universidad de los Andes [Bogota]); Luigi Siciliani (Unknown)
    Abstract: We investigate the effect of competition in the nursing homes sector with a two-sided market approach. More precisely, we investigate the distributional implications across the three key actors involved (residents, nurses and nursing homes) that arise from the two-sidedness of the market. Within a Hotelling set up, nursing homes compete for residents and for nurses, who provide quality to residents, by setting residents price and nurses wage. Nurses are assumed altruistic and therefore motivated to provide quality. The market is two-sided because: i) a higher number of residents affects nurses workload, which affects their willingness to provide labour supply; and ii) a higher number of nurses affects residents quality through a better matching process and by relaxing nurses time constraints. Our key findings are that i) the two-sidedness of the market leads to higher wages for nurses, which makes the nurses better off; ii) this is then passed to residents in the form of higher prices, which makes residents worse off; iii) nursing homes profits are instead unaffected. In contrast, when nurses wages are regulated, the two-sidedness of the market implies a transfer between residents and nursing homes. When residents price are regulated, it implies a transfer between nurses and nursing homes. These results are robust to institutional settings which employ pay-for-performance schemes (that reward either nursing homes or nurses): the two-sidedness of the market is strengthened and residents are still worse off.
    Keywords: Nursing homes,Competition,Two-sided markets,Distribution
    Date: 2021–07
  12. By: Justeau, Stéphane; Musson, Anne; Rousselière, Damien
    Abstract: The COVID-19 epidemic has caused the closure of French higher education institutions leading to a series of lockdowns that have affected the mental health of students. We use the POMS (Profile of Mood States) questionnaire developed by McNair et al. (1971) to identify the state of the mental health of students in a French Management School (post-high school level, aged 18+). Our results show that a significant proportion of students show altered mental states and generalized fatigue. 41% of the 1,123 respondents had a worrying mental health condition. We highlight the impact of the absence of social ties and of physical and sports activities. Finally, we suggest that techniques to reduce states such as stress and anxiety be introduced into the curriculum.
    Keywords: Health Economics and Policy, Labor and Human Capital, Teaching/Communication/Extension/Profession
    Date: 2021–09–21
  13. 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
  14. By: Lin William Cong; Ke Tang; Bing Wang; Jingyuan Wang
    Abstract: We build a deep-learning-based SEIR-AIM model integrating the classical Susceptible-Exposed-Infectious-Removed epidemiology model with forecast modules of infection, community mobility, and unemployment. Through linking Google's multi-dimensional mobility index to economic activities, public health status, and mitigation policies, our AI-assisted model captures the populace's endogenous response to economic incentives and health risks. In addition to being an effective predictive tool, our analyses reveal that the long-term effective reproduction number of COVID-19 equilibrates around one before mass vaccination using data from the United States. We identify a "policy frontier" and identify reopening schools and workplaces to be the most effective. We also quantify protestors' employment-value-equivalence of the Black Lives Matter movement and find that its public health impact to be negligible.
    Date: 2021–09
  15. By: Datta, Soumya (South Asian University, New Delhi); C. Saratchand (Satyawati College, University of Delhi)
    Abstract: We set up a macroeconomic epidemiological (SIR) model to evaluate the role of vaccination in the interactive dynamics of COVID-19 and the economy. We analytically examine the existence and local stability properties of the four steady states and find strong support for a locally stable interior equilibrium where the economy grows in the continued presence of the pandemic. We also find that it might be possible to attain a pandemic-free economic revival only if the rate of recovery from infection is faster than a threshold level. We examine, both analytically and numerically, the impact of various types of policy interventions, including non-pharmaceutical interventions involving restrictions on economic activities (like lockdowns and travel restrictions) as well as speeding up the rate of vaccination. We find that under reasonable parameter configurations, a combination of large-scale vaccination as well as non-pharmaceutical interventions are required to meet the twin objectives of controlling the pandemic and reviving the economy.
    Keywords: COVID-19 ; health ; stability ; vaccination ; non pharmaceutical intervention
    JEL: E10 E61 I10 I18
    Date: 2021–08
  16. By: Bertrand Achou; Philippe De Donder; Franca Glenzer; Minjoon Lee; Marie-Louise Leroux
    Abstract: COVID-19 outbreaks at nursing homes during the recent pandemic, which received ample media coverage, may have lasting negative impacts on individuals’ perceptions regarding nursing homes. We argue that this could have sizable and persistent implications for savings and long-term care policies. We first develop a theoretical model predicting that higher nursing home aversion should induce higher savings and stronger support for policies subsidizing home care. We further document, based on a survey on Canadians in their 50s and 60s, that higher nursing home aversion is widespread: 72% of respondents are less inclined to enter a nursing home because of the pandemic. Consistent with our model, we find that the latter are much more likely to have higher intended savings for older age because of the pandemic. We also find that they are more likely to strongly support home care subsidies
    Keywords: Pandemic Risk, Nursing Home, Long-Term Care, Savings, Public Policy
    JEL: D14 H31 H51 H53 I10 I31
    Date: 2021
  17. By: Leysan Anvarovna Davletshina; Natalia Alekseevna Sadovnikova; Alexander Valeryevich Bezrukov; Olga Guryevna Lebedinskaya
    Abstract: The article analyzes the population's assessment of their own health and attitude to a healthy lifestyle in the context of distribution by age groups. Of particular interest is the presence of transformations taking into account the complex epidemiological situation, the increase in the incidence of coronavirus infection in the population (the peak of the incidence came during the period of selective observation in 2020). The article assesses the closeness of the relationship between the respondents ' belonging to a particular socio-demographic group and their social well-being during the period of self-isolation, quarantine or other restrictions imposed during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. To solve this problem, the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of respondents are presented, the distribution of responses according to the survey results is estimated and the most significant factor characteristics are selected. The distributions of respondents ' responses are presented for the selected questions. To determine the closeness of the relationship between the respondents ' answers to the question and their gender or age distribution, the coefficients of mutual conjugacy and rank correlation coefficients were calculated and analyzed. The ultimate goal of the analytical component of this study is to determine the social well-being of the Russian population during the pandemic on the basis of sample survey data. As a result of the analysis of changes for the period 2019-2020, the assessment of the closeness of communication revealed the parameters that form differences (gender, wealth, territory of residence).
    Date: 2021–09
  18. By: Raymond Duch (Nuffield College - University of Oxford [Oxford]); Laurence Roope (University of Oxford [Oxford], John Radcliffe Hospital [Oxford University Hospital]); Mara Violato (University of Oxford [Oxford], John Radcliffe Hospital [Oxford University Hospital]); Mf Becerra (UCHILE - Universidad de Chile = University of Chile [Santiago]); T. Robinson (Durham University); Jean-François Bonnefon (TSE - Toulouse School of Economics - UT1 - Université Toulouse 1 Capitole - Université Fédérale Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement); Jorge Friedman (UCHILE - Universidad de Chile = University of Chile [Santiago]); Peter Loewen (University of Toronto); P. Mamidi (Ashoka University); Alessia Melegaro (Bocconi University [Milan, Italy]); M. Blanco (Universidad del Rosario [Bogota]); J. Vargas (Universidad del Rosario [Bogota]); J. Seither (Universidad del Rosario [Bogota]); P. Candio (John Radcliffe Hospital [Oxford University Hospital], University of Birmingham [Birmingham]); Ag Cruz (University of Oxford [Oxford]); X. Hua (The University of MelbourneParkville, VIC, Australia.); Adrian Barnett (QUT - Queensland University of Technology [Brisbane]); Philip Clarke (University of Oxford [Oxford], John Radcliffe Hospital [Oxford University Hospital], The University of MelbourneParkville, VIC, Australia.)
    Abstract: How does the public want a COVID-19 vaccine to be allocated? We conducted a conjoint experiment asking 15,536 adults in 13 countries to evaluate 248,576 profiles of potential vaccine recipients that varied randomly on five attributes. Our sample includes diverse countries from all continents. The results suggest that in addition to giving priority to health workers and to those at high risk, the public favours giving priority to a broad range of key workers and to those on lower incomes. These preferences are similar across respondents of different education levels, incomes, and political ideologies, as well as across most surveyed countries. The public favoured COVID-19 vaccines being allocated solely via government programs, but were highly polarized in some developed countries on whether taking a vaccine should be mandatory. There is a consensus among the public on many aspects of COVID-19 vaccination which needs to be taken into account when developing and communicating roll-out strategies.
    Keywords: Public opinion,Public health,Vaccinations,COVID-19
    Date: 2021
  19. By: Tareena Musaddiq; Kevin M. Stange; Andrew Bacher-Hicks; Joshua Goodman
    Abstract: The Covid-19 pandemic drastically disrupted the functioning of U.S. public schools, potentially changing the relative appeal of alternatives such as homeschooling and private schools. Using longitudinal student-level administrative data from Michigan and nationally representative data from the Census Household Pulse Survey, we show how the pandemic affected families’ choices of school sector. We document four central facts. First, public school enrollment declined noticeably in fall 2020, with about 3 percent of Michigan students and 10 percent of kindergartners using other options. Second, most of this was driven by homeschooling rates jumping substantially, driven largely by families with children in elementary school. Third, homeschooling increased more where schools provided in-person instruction while private schooling increased more where instruction was remote, suggesting heterogeneity in parental concerns about children’s physical health and instructional quality. Fourth, kindergarten declines were highest among low income and Black families while declines in other grades were highest among higher income and White families, highlighting important heterogeneity by students’ existing attachment to public schools. Our results shed light on how families make schooling decisions and imply potential longer-run disruptions to public schools in the form of decreased enrollment and funding, changed composition of the student body, and increased size of the next kindergarten cohort.
    JEL: I20 I24
    Date: 2021–09
  20. By: Nicholas Biddle
    Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic hit many countries at a time when their education systems were facing multiple challenges. Economic, public-health and social impacts from the pandemic have exacerbated many of these challenges. The aim of this paper is to explore the way in which the behavioural sciences can help support the policy response to the COVID-induced education crisis, and to serve as a learning experience for other future crises. The paper involves an empirical exploration of the factors associated with a range of outcomes using large nationally representative datasets, and interpreting these relationships in the context of a detailed literature review. By using data that it is generally representative of the populations of interest, and is available for many dozens of countries with different histories, languages, cultures, and socioeconomic outcomes, this paper highlights how identifying behavioural biases can direct education systems towards more effective targeted policy interventions.
    Date: 2021–09–23
  21. By: Tondl, Gabriele
    Abstract: Developing countries (DCs) encounter the COVID-19 pandemic under distinctly different preconditions than high income countries. With a young population and permanently challenged by major infectious diseases like malaria and TB, but insufficient health infrastructure and poor public administrative structures, DCs are meeting particular problems to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. This paper wishes to show how dependence on export markets, disruption of supply chains, decline in remittances and containment measures have resulted in a major output drop in DCs. With a large informal sector, unstable employment contracts and little public social support, the population in DCs is hard hit by income losses so that poverty in DCs has grown rapidly. Three issues arise: First, what are the prospects of DCs to stop further waves of the COVID-19 disease? Second, why has the COVID-19 pandemic hit the economy of DCs so hard? Which role play dependency and trade specialisation in this context and will the trade patterns of DCs change in consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic? Third, how has poverty and human tragedy re-emerged in DCs in the course of the COVID-19 crisis and will it ruin the basis of future development? These issues will be discussed using the most recent data and academic literature available. The major conclusion of this paper is that DCs are disproportionately suffering from the economic and human consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. To mitigate this miserable situation, they will need suitable, well-designed assistance from the Global North and international institutions.
    Keywords: COVID-19,Developing Countries,Supply Chains,Poverty,Inequality
    Date: 2021
  22. By: Hintermann, Beat (University of Basel); Schoeman, Beaumont (University of Basel); Molloy, Joseph; Schatzmann, Thomas; Tchervenkov, Christopher; Axhausen, Kay W.
    Abstract: We study the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated government measures on individual mobility choices in Switzerland. Our data is based on over 1,000 people for which we observe all trips during eight weeks before the pandemic and again for up to 6 months after its onset. We find an overall reduction of travel distances by 60 percent, followed by a gradual recovery during the subsequent reopening of the economy. Whereas driving distances have almost completely recovered, public transport remains under-used. The introduction of a requirement to wear a mask in public transport had no measurable impact on ridership. We study the heterogeneity of the individual travel response to the pandemic and find that it varies along socio-economic dimensions such as education and household size, with mobility tool ownership, and with personal values and lifestyles.
    Keywords: COVID-19; mobility; tracking; causal forest; PPML
    JEL: H12 H40 I18 R41 R48
    Date: 2021–09–15

This nep-hea issue is ©2021 by Nicolas R. Ziebarth. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.