nep-hea New Economics Papers
on Health Economics
Issue of 2022‒01‒03
24 papers chosen by
Nicolas R. Ziebarth
Cornell University

  1. When the loved one passes - women's well-being in widowhood By Adena, Maja; Hamermesh, Daniel S.; Myck, Michał; Oczkowska, Monika
  2. Fertility and Labor Market Responses to Reductions in Mortality By Sonia Bhalotra, Sonia; Venkataramani, Atheendar; Walther, Selma
  3. Biased Survival Expectations and Behaviours: Does Domain Specific Information Matter? By Joan Costa-i-Font; Cristina Vilaplana-Prieto
  4. Understanding cognitive decline in older ages: The role of health shocks By Schiele, Valentin; Schmitz, Hendrik
  5. Model-Based Recursive Partitioning to Estimate Unfair Health Inequalities in the United Kingdom Household Longitudinal Study By Brunori, Paolo; Davillas, Apostolos; Jones, Andrew M.; Scarchilli, Giovanna
  6. Towering Intellects? Sizing Up the Relationship Between Height and Academic Success By Stephanie Coffey; Amy Ellen Schwartz
  7. Do Economic Incentives Promote Physical Activity? Evidence from the London Congestion Charge By Nakamura, Ryota; Albanese, Andrea; Coombes, Emma; Suhrcke, Marc
  8. The Effects of Gender-Specific Local Labor Demand on Birth and Later Outcomes By Mika Akesaka; Nobuyoshi Kikuchi
  9. Exposure-adjusted racial/ethnic disparities in mortality in the U.S. By Héctor Pifarré i Arolas; Enrique Acosta; Christian Dudel; Jo M. Hale; Mikko Myrskylä
  10. Market concentration, supply, quality and prices paid by local authorities in the English care home market By Espuny Pujol, Ferran; Hancock, Ruth; Hviid, Morten; Morciano, Marcello; Pudney, Stephen
  11. Collusion in the US Generic Drug Industry By Robert Clark; Christopher Anthony Fabiilli; Laura Lasio
  12. Appointments: A More Effective Commitment Device for Health Behaviors By Laura Derksen; Jason. T Kerwin; Natalia Ordaz Reynoso; Olivier Sterck
  13. Pricing equity-linked life insurance contracts with multiple risk factors by neural networks By Karim Barigou; Lukasz Delong
  14. Socioeconomic inequality in tobacco use in Kenya: a concentration analysis By Hermann Pythagore Pierre Donfouet; Shukri F. Mohamed; Eric Malin
  15. Climatic shocks, air quality, and health at birth in Bogotá By Luis Guillermo Becerra-Valbuena; Jorge A. Bonilla
  16. The Media or the Message? Experimental Evidence on Mass Media and Modern Contraception Uptake in Burkina Faso By Rachel Glennerster; Joanna Murray; Victor Pouliquen
  17. Costs and cost-effectiveness of Malaria control interventions: a systematic literature review By Conteh, Lesong; Shuford, Kathryn; Agboraw, Efundem; Kont, Mara; Kolaczinski, Jan; Patouillard, Edith
  18. Modeling to Inform Economy-Wide Pandemic Policy: Bringing Epidemiologists and Economists Together By Michael Darden; David Dowdy; Lauren Gardner; Barton Hamilton; Karen A. Kopecky; Melissa Marx; Nicholas Papageorge; Daniel Polsky; Kimberly Powers; Elizabeth Stuart; Matthew Zahn
  19. 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
  20. Optimal lockdowns for COVID‐19 pandemics: Analyzing the efficiency of sanitary policies in Europe By Ewen Gallic; Michel Lubrano; Pierre Michel
  21. Cash, and "Drops": Boosting vaccine registrations By Suah, Jing Lian
  22. Protecting Lives and Livelihoods with Early and Tight Lockdowns By Mr. Damiano Sandri; Weicheng Lian; Mr. Francesco Grigoli; Francesca G Caselli
  23. How laws affect the perception of norms: empirical evidence from the lockdown By Roberto Galbiati; Emeric Henry; Nicolas Jacquemet; Max Lobeck
  24. The role of telework for productivity during and post-COVID-19: Results from an OECD survey among managers and workers By Chiara Criscuolo; Peter Gal; Timo Leidecker; Francesco Losma; Giuseppe Nicoletti

  1. By: Adena, Maja; Hamermesh, Daniel S.; Myck, Michał; Oczkowska, Monika
    Abstract: A partner's loss is a life-changing experience, and we need more evidence to understand the dynamics of its consequences better. We draw on numerous datasets to examine differences between widowed and partnered older women and to provide a comprehensive picture of well-being in widowhood. Most importantly, our analysis accounts for time use in widowhood, an aspect which has not been studied previously. Based on data from several European countries we trace the evolution of well-being of women who become widowed by comparing them with their matched non-widowed 'statistical twins.' We examine the role of an exceptionally broad set of potential moderators of widowhood's impact on well-being including how individuals spend their time. We confirm a dramatic decrease in mental health and life satisfaction after the loss of partner, followed by a slow recovery. An extensive set of controls recorded prior to widowhood, including detailed family ties and social networks, provides little help in explaining the deterioration in well-being. Unique data from time-diaries kept by older women from several European countries and the U.S. tell us why: the key factor behind widows' reduced well-being is increased time spent alone. This points towards potential areas of support and suggestions both for the widows' families and possibly for public policy. Reducing widows' time spent alone could result in major improvements in their quality of life.
    Keywords: widowhood,well-being,social networks,time use
    JEL: I31 I19 J14
    Date: 2021
  2. By: Sonia Bhalotra, Sonia (University of Warwick, CEPR, IEA,CAGE,IZA); Venkataramani, Atheendar (University of Pennsylvania); Walther, Selma (University of Sussex, IZA and CERGE-EI)
    Abstract: We investigate women’s fertility, labor and marriage market responses to large declines in child mortality. We find delayed childbearing, with lower intensive and extensive margin fertility, a decline in the chances of ever having married, increased labor force participation and an improvement in occupational status. This constitutes the first evidence that improvements in child survival allow women to start fertility later and invest more in the labor market. We present a new theory of fertility that incorporates dynamic choices and reconciles our findings with existing models of behavior.
    Keywords: women’s labor force participation ; fertility timing ; childlessness ; child mortality ; medical innovation JEL Classification: J13 ; I18
    Date: 2021
  3. By: Joan Costa-i-Font; Cristina Vilaplana-Prieto
    Abstract: We study biased survival expectations across two domains and examine whether such biased expectations influence health and financial behaviors. Combining individual-level longitudinal data, retrospective, and end of life data from several European countries for more than a decade, we estimate time-varying individual level bias in ‘survival expectations' (BSE) at the individual level and compare it biased ‘meteorological expectations' (BME). We exploit variation in an individual's family history (parental age at death) to estimate the effect of BSE on health and financial behaviors and compare it to BME, and other tests to discuss whether the effect of BSE results from the effect of private information. We find that BSE increases the probability of adopting less risky behaviors and financial behaviors. We estimate that a one standard deviation increase in BSE reduces the average probability of smoking by 48% and holding retirement accounts by 69%. In contrast, BME barely affects healthy behaviors, and is only associated with a change in some financial behaviors.
    Keywords: biased expectations, survival expectations, meteorological expectations, longevity optimism, private information, health behaviour, financial behaviour
    JEL: I18 D14 G22
    Date: 2021
  4. By: Schiele, Valentin; Schmitz, Hendrik
    Abstract: Individual cognitive functioning declines over time. We seek to understand how adverse physical health shocks in older ages contribute to this development. By use of event-study methods and data from the USA, England and several countries in Continental Europe we find evidence that health shocks lead to an immediate and persistent decline in cognitive functioning. This robust finding holds in all regions representing different health insurance systems and seems to be independent of underlying individual demographic characteristics such as sex and age. We also ask whether variables that are susceptible to policy action can reduce the negative consequences of a health shock. Our results suggest that neither compulsory education nor retirement regulations moderate the effects, thus emphasizing the importance of maintaining good physical health in old age for cognitive functioning.
    Keywords: Cognitive decline,health shocks,retirement,education,event study
    JEL: J24 J14 I1 I12 J2
    Date: 2021
  5. By: Brunori, Paolo (London School of Economics); Davillas, Apostolos (University of East Anglia); Jones, Andrew M. (University of York); Scarchilli, Giovanna (University of Trento)
    Abstract: We measure unfair health inequality in the UK using a novel data- driven empirical approach. We explain health variability as the result of circumstances beyond individual control and health-related behaviours. We do this using model-based recursive partitioning, a supervised machine learning algorithm. Unlike usual tree-based algorithms, model-based recursive partitioning does identify social groups with different expected levels of health but also unveils the heterogeneity of the relationship linking behaviors and health outcomes across groups. The empirical application is conducted using the UK Household Longitudinal Study. We show that unfair inequality is a substantial fraction of the total explained health variability. This finding holds no matter which exact definition of fairness is adopted: using both the fairness gap and direct unfairness measures, each evaluated at different reference values for circumstances or effort.
    Keywords: machine learning, health equity, inequality of opportunity, unhealthy lifestyle behaviours
    JEL: I14 D63
    Date: 2021–12
  6. By: Stephanie Coffey (Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University, 426 Eggers Hall, Syracuse, NY 13244); Amy Ellen Schwartz (Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University, 426 Eggers Hall, Syracuse, NY 13244)
    Abstract: Do tall students do better in school? While a robust literature documents higher earnings among taller people, we know little about the potential academic origins of the height earnings gradient. In this paper, we use unique student-level longitudinal data from New York City (NYC) to examine the link between height and academic outcomes, shedding light on underlying mechanisms. The centerpiece of our empirical work is a regression linking academic outcomes to height, measured as a z-score normalized to same grade/sex peers within schools. We estimate a meaningful height gradient for both boys and girls in ELA and math achievement in all grades 3-8. Controlling for observed student characteristics, a one standard deviation (sd.) increase in height for grade is associated with a 3.5% (4.6%) sd. increase in math (ELA) score for boys and 4.1% (4.8%) sd. for girls. The height gradient is not explained by contemporaneous health, while time-invariant student characteristics correlated with height and achievement explain roughly half of the relationship for boys (3/4 for girls). We also find evidence that ordinal height rank relative to peers may have a small effect on achievement conditional on cardinal height. This paper contributes to a long-standing literature on the effect of age-within-grade on achievement. Our estimates suggest that failing to account for relative height may upwardly bias the relationship between relative age and achievement by up to 25%.
    Keywords: Height, Education, Childhood Health
    JEL: I14 I21 I24
    Date: 2021–12
  7. By: Nakamura, Ryota; Albanese, Andrea; Coombes, Emma; Suhrcke, Marc
    Abstract: This study investigates the impact of economic incentives on travel-related physical activity, leveraging the London Congestion Charge’s disincentivising of sedentary travel modes via increasing the cost of private car use within Central London. The scheme imposes charges on most types of cars entering, exiting and operating within the Central London area, while individuals living inside the charging zone are eligible for a 90% reduction in congestion charges. Geographical location information provides the full-digit postcode data necessary to precisely identify the eligibility for the discount of participants in the London Travel Demand Survey for the period 2005–2011. Using a boundary regression-discontinuity design reveals a statistically significant but small impact on active commuting (i.e. cycling and walking) around the border of the charging zone. The effect is larger for lower-income households and car owners. The findings are robust against multiple specifications and validation tests.
    Keywords: economic incentive, health behaviour, London Congestion Charge, geographical information system, regression-discontinuity
    JEL: D04 I12 R48
    Date: 2021–12
  8. By: Mika Akesaka; Nobuyoshi Kikuchi
    Abstract: We examine the effects of local labor market conditions during early pregnancy on birth and later outcomes. Using a longitudinal survey of newborns in Japan, we find that improvements in employment opportunities increase the probability of low birth weight, attributable to shortened gestation. This negative effect is mainly driven by the impact of economic shocks on the female labor market. However, we do not find a lasting effect of economic shocks during early pregnancy on severe health conditions or developmental delays in early childhood. Using prefecture-level panel data, we confirm that improvements in female employment opportunities are significantly negatively associated with infant birth weight, but not with the fertility and infant mortality rate.
    Date: 2021–12
  9. By: Héctor Pifarré i Arolas (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Enrique Acosta (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Christian Dudel (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Jo M. Hale (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Mikko Myrskylä (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: Background: Racial mortality disparities in the U.S. are well-documented and central to the debate on social inequalities in health. We argue that standard measures that are used to describe the disparities, such as life expectancy or years of life lost, underestimate those disparities. Methods: We analyze contemporary U.S. mortality disparities comparing Blacks and Hispanics to Whites using CDC and NCHS data. We estimate mortality disparities using standard metrics and a novel approach that weights mortality inequalities by the population fraction that is exposed to the inequalities. We then express the magnitude of these inequalities by comparing them to the loss of life due to leading causes of death. Results: Based on the exposure-adjusted measure, the Black mortality disadvantage is as deadly or deadlier than circulatory diseases, the top cause of death in the U.S; and 43% (men) and 87% (women) larger than the disadvantage as measured by life expectancy. For Hispanics, the exposure-adjusted mortality advantage over Whites is over two times larger, for both men and women, than what life expectancy disparities would imply, and 21% (men) and 11% (women) larger than when measured using standard years of life lost. Conclusions: Mortality inequalities experienced by real populations can differ markedly from the inequalities that are calculated for synthetic populations that are used in standard calculations. We show that racial/ethnic disparities in the U.S. are underestimated if not adjusted for the populations experiencing the inequalities. For health policy the exposure-adjusted inequalities are likely to provide a more reasonable signal on where to allocate scarce resources.
    Keywords: USA, age distribution, differential mortality, racial discrimination, risk exposure
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2021
  10. By: Espuny Pujol, Ferran; Hancock, Ruth; Hviid, Morten; Morciano, Marcello; Pudney, Stephen
    Abstract: We investigate the impact of exogenous local conditions which favor high market concentration on supply, price and quality in local markets for care homes for older people in England. We extend the existing literature in: (i) considering supply capacity as a market outcome alongside price and quality; (ii) taking account of the chain structure of care home supply and differences between the nursing home and residential care home sectors; (iii) using an econometric approach based on reduced form relationships that treats market concentration as a jointly determined outcome of a complex market. We find that areas susceptible to a high degree of market concentration tend to have greatly restricted supply of care home places and (to a lesser extent) a higher average public cost, than areas susceptible to low degree of market concentration. There is no significant evidence that conditions favoring high market concentration affect average care home quality.
    Keywords: care homes; market concentration; price; quality; supply; ES/L009153/1; ES/L011859/1; NIHR Applied Research Collaboration for Greater Manchester
    JEL: N0 L81
    Date: 2021–08–01
  11. By: Robert Clark (Queen's University); Christopher Anthony Fabiilli (Competition Bureau Canada); Laura Lasio (McGill University)
    Abstract: We study cartels that operated in the US generic drug industry, leveraging quarterly Medicaid data from 2011-2018 and a difference-in-differences approach comparing the evolution of prices of allegedly collusive drugs with a group of competitive control drugs. Our analysis highlights (i) the difficulty of establishing a suitable control group when collusion is pervasive, (ii) the importance of accounting for market structure changes when defining the control period, and (ii) the existence of across- and within-drug heterogeneity. We focus on six drug markets that that were part of the expanded initial complaint and where there was no entry in the same class during the collusive period, permitting a clean measure of the causal impact of collusion on prices. Our most conservative estimates suggest that collusion led to price increases of between 0% and 166% for each of the six drugs, and damages of between $0 and $3 million for the Medicaid market.
    Keywords: antitrust, generic drugs, price fixing
    JEL: L41 L12 L13 D22 D43 K21 I18 L65
    Date: 2021–11
  12. By: Laura Derksen; Jason. T Kerwin; Natalia Ordaz Reynoso; Olivier Sterck
    Abstract: Health behaviors are plagued by self-control problems, and commitment devices are frequently proposed as a solution. We show that a simple alternative works even better: appointments. We randomly offer HIV testing appointments and financial com¬mitment devices to high-risk men in Malawi. Appointments are much more effective than financial commitment devices, more than doubling testing rates. In contrast, most men who take up financial commitment devices lose their investments. Appointments address procrastination without the potential drawback of commitment failure, and also address limited memory problems. Appointments have the potential to increase demand for healthcare in the developing world.
    Keywords: Appointment; Commitment device; Prevention; HIV; HIV testing;
    JEL: D81 I15 O12
    Date: 2021
  13. By: Karim Barigou (SAF - Laboratoire de Sciences Actuarielle et Financière - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université de Lyon); Lukasz Delong (Warsaw School of Economics - Institut of Econometrics)
    Abstract: This paper considers the pricing of equity-linked life insurance contracts with death and survival benefits in a general model with multiple stochastic risk factors: interest rate, equity, volatility, unsystematic and systematic mortality. We price the equity-linked contracts by assuming that the insurer hedges the risks to reduce the local variance of the net asset value process and requires a compensation for the non-hedgeable part of the liability in the form of an instantaneous standard deviation risk margin. The price can then be expressed as the solution of a system of non-linear partial differential equations. We reformulate the problem as a backward stochastic differential equation with jumps and solve it numerically by the use of efficient neural networks. Sensitivity analysis is performed with respect to initial parameters and an analysis of the accuracy of the approximation of the true price with our neural networks is provided.
    Keywords: Equity-linked contracts,Neural networks,Stochastic mortality,BSDEs with jumps,Hull-White stochastic interest rates,Heston model
    Date: 2021–11–10
  14. By: Hermann Pythagore Pierre Donfouet (APHRC Campus - African Population and Health Research Center, Inc); Shukri F. Mohamed (APHRC Campus - African Population and Health Research Center, Inc); Eric Malin (CREM - Centre de recherche en économie et management - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UR1 - Université de Rennes 1 - UNIV-RENNES - Université de Rennes - UNICAEN - Université de Caen Normandie - NU - Normandie Université)
    Abstract: This paper aims at assessing and exploring socioeconomic inequalities in tobacco use in Kenya. Using the theory of fundamental causes, and concentration index, we investigate the determinants of tobacco use, and whether it disproportionately affects the poor. All data used in this study emanated from the 2014 Global Adult Tobacco Survey implemented in Kenya on a nationally representative sample of men and women aged 15 years and older. Our results suggest a link between tobacco use and socioeconomic inequality. Overall, poorer households are more affected by tobacco use than richer households. This socioeconomic inequality is more evident among men and households living in urban areas. The decomposition of the concentration index indicates that the overall socioeconomic inequality for current tobacco smokers is explained by 69.11% of household wealth. To reduce the prevalence rate of smoking in Kenya, policymakers could design and implement tobacco control programs through the equity lens. Community health workers could be used to promote non-smoking behaviors among the poor.
    Keywords: Theory of fundamental causes,Tobacco consumption,Socioeconomic inequalities,Concentration index
    Date: 2021
  15. By: Luis Guillermo Becerra-Valbuena (PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement); Jorge A. Bonilla (ULA - Universidad de Los Andes [Venezuela])
    Abstract: We contribute to the literature on air pollution and health by assessing an additional channel, the effect of El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) on health. Currently, there is a vast literature on the effects of urban pollution on health. Our research, unlike other studies, jointly investigates the effects of pollution, ENSO and local weather on health. On the one hand, ENSO manifests itself as an extreme climatic shock that follows certain seasonality and influences weather. It may also have an impact on floods, droughts and agriculture inducing changes in food markets or a loss of household income, which also affect health. On the other hand, health outcomes are affected by other factors which follow separate mechanisms to the previous ones. Therefore, pollutant impacts on health may be interpreted as separate effects from other shocks mediated through ENSO. Using a database from 1998 to 2015 on air quality and vital statistics for Bogotá, and ENSO information, we find that across several specifications, ENSO affects birth weight and the probability of low birth weight after separating pollution and classical local weather impacts. Interestingly, the effect on birth weight of ENSO are several times larger than the impacts of pollution. Being exposed to ENSO may decrease birth weight up to 1.3%, while an increase of 1 ppb of SO2 or 1 µg/m3 of PM25 might reduce birth weight up to 0.3% or 0.14%, respectively. From a policy point of view, these results are relevant because regardless of the measure of pollution that we employ, the amount of the impacts exhibited by climatic shocks via ENSO events dominate.
    Keywords: Climate change,Health,ENSO Index,El Niño,La Niña,weather,Pollution,Bogotá
    Date: 2021–11
  16. By: Rachel Glennerster; Joanna Murray; Victor Pouliquen
    Abstract: Mass media can spread information and disinformation, but its impact is hard to rigorously measure. Using a two-level randomized controlled trial covering 5 million people, we test both exposure to mass media (with 1,500 women receiving radios) and the impact of a high-quality, intensive 2.5 year, family planning mass media campaign in Burkina Faso (8 of 16 local radio stations received the campaign). We find women who received a radio in noncampaign areas reduced contraception use by 5.2 percentage points (p=0.039) and had more conservative gender attitudes. In contrast, modern contraceptive use rose 5.9 percentage points (p=0.046) in campaign areas and 5.8 percentage points (p=0.030) among those given radios in campaign areas. Births fell 10%. The campaign changed beliefs about contraception but not preferences, and encouraged existing users to use more consistently. We estimate the nationwide campaign scale-up led to 225,000 additional women using modern contraception, at a cost of US$7.7 per additional user.
    Keywords: Mass Media Campaign; Radio; Modern Contraception; Family Planning; RCT.
    JEL: J13 J16 L82
    Date: 2021
  17. By: Conteh, Lesong; Shuford, Kathryn; Agboraw, Efundem; Kont, Mara; Kolaczinski, Jan; Patouillard, Edith
    Abstract: Objectives: To systematically review the literature on the unit cost and cost-effectiveness of malaria control. Methods: Ten databases and gray literature sources were searched to identify evidence relevant to the period 2005 to 2018. Studies with primary financial or economic cost data from malaria endemic countries that took a provider, provider and household, or societal perspective were included. Results: We identified 103 costing studies. The majority of studies focused on individual rather than combined interventions, notably insecticide-treated bed nets and treatment, and commonly took a provider perspective. A third of all studies took place in 3 countries. The median provider economic cost of protecting 1 person per year ranged from $1.18 to $5.70 with vector control and from $0.53 to $5.97 with chemoprevention. The median provider economic cost per case diagnosed with rapid diagnostic tests was $6.06 and per case treated $9.31 or $89.93 depending on clinical severity. Other interventions did not share enough similarities to be summarized. Cost drivers were rarely reported. Cost-effectiveness of malaria control was reiterated, but care in methodological and reporting standards is required to enhance data transferability. Conclusions: Important information that can support resource allocation was reviewed. Given the variability in methods and reporting, global efforts to follow existing standards are required for the evidence to be most useful outside their study context, supplemented by guidance on options for transferring existing data across settings.
    Keywords: cost-effectiveness; disease control interventions; malaria; unit cost
    JEL: E6
    Date: 2021–08–01
  18. By: Michael Darden; David Dowdy; Lauren Gardner; Barton Hamilton; Karen A. Kopecky; Melissa Marx; Nicholas Papageorge; Daniel Polsky; Kimberly Powers; Elizabeth Stuart; Matthew Zahn
    Abstract: Facing unprecedented uncertainty and drastic trade-offs between public health and other forms of human well-being, policymakers during the Covid-19 pandemic have sought the guidance of epidemiologists and economists. Unfortunately, while both groups of scientists use many of the same basic mathematical tools, the models they develop to inform policy tend to rely on different sets of assumptions and, thus, often lead to different policy conclusions. This divergence in policy recommendations can lead to uncertainty and confusion, opening the door to disinformation, distrust of institutions, and politicization of scientific facts. Unfortunately, to date, there have not been widespread efforts to build bridges and find consensus or even to clarify sources of differences across these fields, members of whom often continue to work within their traditional academic silos. In response to this "crisis of communication," we convened a group of scholars from epidemiology, economics, and related fields (such as statistics, engineering, and health policy) to discuss approaches to modeling economy-wide pandemics. We summarize these conversations by providing a consensus view of disciplinary differences (including critiques) and working through a specific policy example. Thereafter, we chart a path forward for more effective synergy among disciplines, which we hope will lead to better policies as the current pandemic evolves and future pandemics emerge.
    Keywords: economics; epidemiology; public health; Covid-19; behavior modeling; health outcomes; health-wealth tradeoffs
    JEL: C8 H0 I1 J0
    Date: 2021–11–16
  19. By: Bertrand Achou (Retirement and savings institute, HEC, Montreal); Philippe de Donder (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); Franca Glenzer (Retirement and savings institute, HEC, Montreal); Minjoon Lee (Carleton University - Carleton University); Marie-Louise Leroux (ESG-UQAM - UQAM - Université du Québec à Montréal = University of Québec in Montréal)
    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
    Date: 2021–11–15
  20. By: Ewen Gallic (AMSE - Aix-Marseille Sciences Economiques - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ECM - École Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - AMU - Aix Marseille Université); Michel Lubrano (AMSE - Aix-Marseille Sciences Economiques - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ECM - École Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - AMU - Aix Marseille Université, School of Economics, Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics); Pierre Michel (AMSE - Aix-Marseille Sciences Economiques - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ECM - École Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - AMU - Aix Marseille Université)
    Abstract: Two main nonpharmaceutical policy strategies have been used in Europe in response to the COVID-19 epidemic: one aimed at natural herd immunity and the other at avoiding saturation of hospital capacity by crushing the curve. The two strategies lead to different results in terms of the number of lives saved on the one hand and production loss on the other hand. Using a susceptible–infected–recovered–dead model, we investigate and compare these two strategies. As the results are sensitive to the initial reproduction number, we estimate the latter for 10 European countries for each wave from January 2020 till March 2021 using a double sigmoid statistical model and the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker data set. Our results show that Denmark, which opted for crushing the curve, managed to minimize both economic and human losses. Natural herd immunity, sought by Sweden and the Netherlands does not appear to have been a particularly effective strategy, especially for Sweden, both in economic terms and in terms of lives saved. The results are more mixed for other countries, but with no evident trade-off between deaths and production losses.
    Date: 2021
  21. By: Suah, Jing Lian
    Abstract: Demand (registrations), supply (availability of vaccines), and throughput (administering of vaccines) are key determinants of the progress of vaccination drives globally, including Malaysia's National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme (Program Imunisasi COVID-19 Kebangsaan, PICK). This paper will focus on the first determinant - demand. Specifically, were major policy "shocks" effective in influencing vaccine registrations? Between 24 February 2021 to 14 June 2021 when the PICK was in progress, several interventions were applied in select districts and states. These provided "natural experiments" to assess the effect of certain policy interventions on vaccine demand. In this paper, we assess the effect of two types of interventions on vaccine registrations in the PICK programme in a difference-in-difference (DiD) and panel event study settings - (1) a cash transfer programme for vaccine recipients, and (2) two instances of parallel opt-in "first come, first serve" queues. Finally, we rationalise these findings in a simple model of individual demand with preference shocks.
    Keywords: COVID-19, vaccination drive, panel event study, difference-in-difference
    JEL: D83 I15 I18
    Date: 2021–06–20
  22. By: Mr. Damiano Sandri; Weicheng Lian; Mr. Francesco Grigoli; Francesca G Caselli
    Abstract: Using high-frequency proxies for economic activity over a large sample of countries, we show that the economic crisis during the first seven months of the COVID-19 pandemic was only partly due to government lockdowns. Economic activity also contracted because of voluntary social distancing in response to higher infections. We also show that lockdowns can substantially reduce COVID-19 infections, especially if they are introduced early in a country's epidemic. Despite involving short-term economic costs, lockdowns may thus pave the way to a faster recovery by containing the spread of the virus and reducing voluntary social distancing. Finally, we document that lockdowns entail decreasing marginal economic costs but increasing marginal benefits in reducing infections. This suggests that tight short-lived lockdowns are preferable to mild prolonged measures.
    Keywords: COVID-19;infections;lockdown;mobility;voluntary social distancing.; lockdown measure; lockdown stringency; lockdown tightening; lockdown restriction; sectors lockdown; job posting; effects of lockdown; Private savings; Economic recession; Unemployment rate; Global
    Date: 2020–11–08
  23. By: Roberto Galbiati (ECON - Département d'économie (Sciences Po) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Emeric Henry (ECON - Département d'économie (Sciences Po) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Nicolas Jacquemet (PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Max Lobeck (PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)
    Abstract: Laws not only affect behavior due to changes in material payoffs, but they may also change the perception individuals have of societal norms, either by shifting them directly or by providing information on these norms. Using detailed daily survey data and exploiting the introduction of lockdown measures in the UK in the context of the COVID-19 health crisis, we provide causal evidence that the law drastically changed the perception of the norms regarding social distancing behaviors. We show this effect of laws on perceived norms is mostly driven by an informational channel.
    Date: 2020–10–05
  24. By: Chiara Criscuolo; Peter Gal; Timo Leidecker; Francesco Losma; Giuseppe Nicoletti
    Abstract: Motivated by the sudden adoption of telework in the wake of the COVID 19 pandemic, the Global Forum on Productivity (GFP) undertook an online survey among managers and workers in 25 countries about their experience and expectations, with a particular focus on productivity and well-being. This paper presents analysis and results from this endeavour. It finds that managers and workers had an overall positive assessment from teleworking both for firm performance and for individual well-being, and wish to increase substantially the share of regular teleworkers from pre-crisis levels. Respondents, on average, find that the ideal amount of telework is around 2-3 days per week, in line with other recent evidence and with the idea that the benefits (e.g., less commuting, fewer distractions) and costs (e.g., impaired communication and knowledge flows) need to be balanced at an intermediate level of telework intensity. To meet the challenges of this “hybrid” working mode, as the survey finds, further changes from management are needed, such as the co-ordination of schedules to encourage a sufficient degree of in-person interaction, and further investment in ICT tools and skills as well as more soft skills to master online communication.
    Keywords: productivity, survey, telework, well-being, working from home
    JEL: D24 M1 O3
    Date: 2021–12–16

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