nep-hea New Economics Papers
on Health Economics
Issue of 2022‒03‒14
23 papers chosen by
Nicolas R. Ziebarth
Cornell University

  1. Tackling the Substance Abuse Crisis: The Role of Access to Treatment Facilities By Adriana Corredor-Waldron; Janet Currie
  2. Who Increases Emergency Department Use? New Insights from the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment By Augustine Denteh; Helge Liebert
  3. Lives versus livelihoods in the middle ages: The impact of the plague on markets over 400 years By Jakob B. Madsen; Peter E. Robertson; Longfeng Ye
  4. The Long-Term Effects of In-Utero Exposure to Rubella By Mosca, Irene; Nolan, Anne
  5. Do Good Carefully: The Long-Term Effects of DDT Exposure in Early Childhood on Education and Employment By Chang, Simon; Kan, Kamhon
  6. Remote Work, Children's Health and the Racial Gap in Female Wages By Kouki, Amairisa; Sauer, Robert M.
  7. Exiting Primary Care Providers By Zocher, Katrin
  8. Are Older Workers Capable of Working Longer? By Laura D. Quinby; Gal Wettstein
  9. Changes in New Disability Awards: Understanding Trends and Looking Ahead By Lindsay Jacobs
  10. The Alignment Between Self-Reported and Administrative Measures of Application to and Receipt of Federal Disability Benefits in the Health and Retirement Study By Jody Schimmel Hyde; Amal Harrati
  11. The Impact of Claimant Representation Fee Schedules on the Disability Applicant Process and Recipient Outcomes By Cody Tuttle; Riley Wilson
  12. Impacts of Health and Economic Costs on Street Children Working as Waste Collectors in Dhaka City By Alam, Md. Mahmudul; Hossain, Mohammad Saeed; Islam, Nurul; Murad, Wahid; Khan, Niaz Ahmed
  13. Dynamic Ordered Panel Logit Models By Bo E. Honoré; Chris Muris; Martin Weidner
  14. School starting age and nutritional outcomes: Evidence from Brazil By Pierre Levasseur
  15. Limbo or Leverage? Asylum Waiting and Refugee Integration By Aslund, Olof; Engdahl, Mattias; Rosenqvist, Olof
  16. Covid-19 and a Green Recovery? By Aditya Goenka; Lin Liu; Manh-Hung Nguyen
  17. Environment, public debt and epidemics * By Marion Davin; Mouez Fodha; Thomas Seegmuller
  18. Providing Pandemic Business Interruption Coverage with Double Trigger Cat Bonds. By André Schmitt; Sandrine Spaeter
  19. Regional Differences in COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy in December 2020: A Natural Experiment in the French Working-Age Population By Fanny Velardo; Verity Watson; Pierre Arwidson; François Alla; Stéphane Luchini; Michaël Schwarzinger
  20. The Effects of Fiscal Policy on Households during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Evidence from Emerging Economies By Dzung Bui; Lena Dräger; Bernd Hayo; Giang Nghiem
  21. Internal and External Effects of Social Distancing in a Pandemic By Maryam Farboodi; Gregor Jarosch; Robert Shimer
  22. Tipping in Crises: Evidence from Chicago Taxi Passengers during COVID-19 By Conlisk, Sarah
  23. International comparisons of the measurement of non-market output during the COVID-19 pandemic By John Mitchell; James Lewis; Jorrit Zwijnenburg; Rachida Dkhissi; Thomas Prendergast

  1. By: Adriana Corredor-Waldron (Princeton University); Janet Currie (Princeton University)
    Abstract: The continuing drug overdose crisis in the U.S. has highlighted the urgent need for greater access to treatment. This paper examines the impact of openings and closings of substance abuse treatment facilities in New Jersey on emergency room visits for substance abuse issues among nearby residents. We find that drug-related ER visits increase by 16.6% after a facility closure and decrease by 9.5% after an opening. The effects are largest in relatively under-served areas, among Black residents, and among males. They are smaller for the middle aged than for either younger or older people. The results suggest that expanding access to treatment results in significant reductions in morbidity related to drug abuse.
    Keywords: substance abuse treatment, United States
    JEL: I12
    Date: 2021–05
  2. By: Augustine Denteh (Tulane University); Helge Liebert (University of Zurich)
    Abstract: We provide new insights into the finding that Medicaid increased emergency department (ED) use from the Oregon experiment. Using nonparametric causal machine learning methods, we find economically meaningful treatment effect heterogeneity in the impact of Medicaid coverage on ED use. The effect distribution is widely dispersed, with significant positive effects concentrated among high-use individuals. A small group—about 14% of participants—in the right tail with significant increases in ED use drives the overall effect. The remainder of the individualized treatment effects is either indistinguishable from zero or negative. The average treatment effect is not representative of the individualized treatment effect for most people. We identify four priority groups with large and statistically significant increases in ED use—men, prior SNAP participants, adults less than 50 years old, and those with pre-lottery ED use classified as primary care treatable. Our results point to an essential role of intensive margin effects— Medicaid increases utilization among those already accustomed to ED use and who use the emergency department for all types of care. We leverage the heterogeneous effects to estimate optimal assignment rules to prioritize insurance applications in similar expansions.
    Keywords: Medicaid, ED visit, effect heterogeneity, machine learning, efficient policy learning
    JEL: H75 I13 I38
    Date: 2022–01
  3. By: Jakob B. Madsen; Peter E. Robertson; Longfeng Ye
    Abstract: To what extent did outbreaks of bubonic plague disrupt daily economic activity? We estimate the impact of epidemics on regional markets over four centuries – from the Black Death in the 14th century, until the medieval form of the plague became extinct in the 17th century. Despite the extreme mortality risk of bubonic plague, we find that outbreaks only had a modest impact on trade costs and market integration, as measured by local variations in wheat prices. The results provide quantitative evidence on how the lives versus livelihoods tradeoff was managed through history and the extent to which people learned to live with plague. They suggest that economic activity in low income societies is very resilient to epidemics.
    Keywords: Epidemics, Trade Costs, Social Distancing, Black Death, Public Health, COVID-19
    JEL: I15 N33 I18 N13
    Date: 2022–01
  4. By: Mosca, Irene (National University of Ireland, Maynooth); Nolan, Anne (ESRI, Dublin)
    Abstract: A large body of research in economics and other disciplines considers the role of early-life circumstances in shaping later-life outcomes. The foetal origins hypothesis establishes that certain health conditions in later adulthood can be linked to in-utero development. In this paper, we contribute to the evidence on the foetal origins hypothesis by examining the later-life impact of a rubella outbreak that occurred in Ireland in 1956. Rubella is a contagious viral disease that displays mild symptoms and is generally inconsequential in childhood or adulthood. However, a rubella infection in early pregnancy poses a significant risk of damage to the foetus. Matching the outcomes of individuals born in 1955 to 1958 who are in the 2016 Irish Census to the county-level rubella incidence rate that was prevailing when respondents were in utero, we find that a 1% increase in the rubella incidence rate when in utero is associated with a 0.03% to 0.17% increase in the probability of having lower levels of educational attainment, being in poor health and having a disability in later life.
    Keywords: in-utero, rubella, Ireland, later-life health
    JEL: I10 I18 J13
    Date: 2022–02
  5. By: Chang, Simon (University of Western Australia); Kan, Kamhon (Academia Sinica)
    Abstract: For decades, the debate on using DDT to control malaria has focused on the balance between immediate public health gains and ecological costs, ignoring DDT's long-term harmful effects on humans. Using data from the large-scale indoor residual spraying of DDT that took place in Taiwan in the 1950s, we estimate the long-term effects of DDT exposure in early childhood on education and employment in adulthood. Our identification hinges on the unexpected extension of DDT spraying even after malaria had already been largely brought under control. Our finding shows that DDT exposure in early childhood is associated with less education and worse employment in adulthood. However, the dose-response curves are non-linear.
    Keywords: DDT, endocrine-disrupting chemicals, malaria, human capital, Taiwan
    JEL: I1 Q5
    Date: 2022–02
  6. By: Kouki, Amairisa (Nottingham Trent University); Sauer, Robert M. (Royal Holloway, University of London)
    Abstract: This paper studies the racial gap in the female wage penalty to remote work. Using a temporary child health problem as a source of exogenous variation in the propensity to work from home, wage penalties reach 86 percent for black women and 77 percent for white women. Promotion bias, task re-assignment and lack of productive social interaction are the most likely mechanisms for the wage losses. The estimates provide rare evidence on the differential costs of social distancing by race and may be especially applicable when children are temporarily quarantined due to illness.
    Keywords: female labor supply, female earnings, race, remote work, telecommuting, flexible working arrangements, fertility, health
    JEL: C26 J13 J22 I19
    Date: 2022–02
  7. By: Zocher, Katrin
    Abstract: This article studies the impact of primary care providers (PCPs) exit from the local health care system on patients' health care utilization. In the empirical analysis, I compare patients whose physicians have left the local health care system at different points in time due to retirement, relocation, or other reasons. Estimation results indicate that the imminent exit leads soon-leaving physicians to changing their treatment behavior, which has a significant impact on patients' health care spending. In addition, successors and new PCPs provide significantly more preventive services in the post-exit-period and refer patients more often to specialists for further examinations than the physicians of the control group. The increased inpatient expenditures in the post-exit period are caused by patients themselves (through outpatient department visits), by the new PCPs (through referrals), and presumably by specialists. Self-initiated substitution behavior of patients (e.g. less PCP care, more specialist care) after the exit is observed but is low in magnitude. Although an overall increase in provided and used services is observed for patients, mortality is significantly increased. A possible explanation is the low frequency follow-up care of patients who were referred to hospitals by their former PCP in the notification-period and have to discuss follow-up care with physicians unknown to them in the post-period.
    Keywords: physician retirment,continuity of care,disruption
    JEL: I12 I11 I18
    Date: 2022
  8. By: Laura D. Quinby; Gal Wettstein
    Abstract: Disability-free life expectancy had been rising continuously in the United States until 2010, suggesting working longer as a solution for those financially unprepared for retirement. However, recent developments suggest improvements in working life expectancy have stalled, especially for minorities and those with less education. This paper uses data from the National Vital Statistics System, the American Community Survey, and the National Health Interview Survey to assess how recent trends in institutionalization, physical impediments to work, and mortality have affected working life expectancy for men and women age 50, by race and education.
    Date: 2021–06
  9. By: Lindsay Jacobs
    Abstract: This paper examined health, demographic, and disability trends over four birth-year cohorts using data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and restricted linked SSA data with the goal of understanding current and future Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) prevalence. The analysis included (1) identifying physical and mental health responses in the HRS most predictive of SSDI receipt and how these responses and the likelihood of SSDI receipt have changed over cohorts; and (2) a decomposition to determine what share of the changes in SSDI receipt can be attributed to differences in the effects of health and other factors over cohorts, while accounting for the changing selection into program coverage. Key aspects to be addressed in future work include analysis of the younger adult population and modeling application timing and behavior, as this work focused instead on ultimate SSDI application approval among older birth-year cohorts.
    Date: 2021–12
  10. By: Jody Schimmel Hyde; Amal Harrati
    Abstract: This paper examines the alignment between self-reported and administrative records of applications to and receipt of federal disability benefits. It uses data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), specifically the cross-wave consistent version developed by the RAND Corporation. The HRS has surveyed adults over the age of 50 every other year since 1992 to be nationally representative of the non-institutionalized older adult population, replenishing the sample with a new cohort every six years. The HRS asks respondents periodically if they are willing to have their survey information linked to earnings and benefits information maintained by the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA). Most respondents agree to the linkage, which provides another source of information about application and receipt patterns for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) than the data that is collected from respondents in the survey. This information may be valuable in understanding disability program participation among older workers and the extent to which survey respondents accurately report their benefit receipt. Using information in the HRS linked to SSA's Form 831 records about disability benefit applications and its Disability Analysis File about benefit receipt, the paper compares survey and administrative reports of having ever applied to SSDI and SSI as well as the receipt of those benefits in each HRS survey wave from 1996 through 2016. It presents statistics on the characteristics of HRS respondents based on whether they consented to have their records linked to administrative files as well as whether those who consented to the linkage accurately reported their benefits status. The analyses make comparisons by calendar year and HRS sampling cohort, as well as by each age from 51 through full retirement age. An appendix to the paper offers a primer for other researchers considering using the HRS-SSA linked data.
    Date: 2021–12
  11. By: Cody Tuttle; Riley Wilson
    Abstract: Many applicants to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) retain representation to help with the approval process. The Social Security Administration imposes strict rules on representative compensation. Representatives are paid only if claimants are awarded disability, and are paid the lesser of 25 percent of claimant's past due benefits or a pre-specified maximum fee dollar amount ($6,000 since 2009). Because past due benefits are a function of the number of months claimants wait to be awarded, representatives face incentives to delay case resolution until past due benefits push representative fees past the maximum fee threshold. This paper uses difference-in-differences and bunching strategies to evaluate how these incentives impact SSDI applicant wait times. To do this, we use information on claimant characteristics and wait times constructed from the Disability Analysis File Public Use File (DAF PUF). Difference-indifferences estimation show that after changes in the maximum fee threshold, average wait times increase by 0.4-0.7 months among applicants for whom the fee threshold is more binding. We also observe bunching in the wait time distribution around the fee threshold kink in years after the policy change relative to the preceding years. Although both policy changes occur in years associated with economic recessions (2002 and 2009), we provide suggestive evidence that the increase in wait times is not driven by secular economic trends. Key limitations of this paper are data availability issues in the DAF PUF. In the DAF PUF, we are unable to observe who retains representations, so we can only observe the reduced form impacts of representative fee schedules on claimant outcomes. With more complete information on the claimant application and appeal process, we could more effectively probe the types of impacts that representation have on case outcomes and the sensitivity of the results to secular economic trends.
    Date: 2021–09
  12. By: Alam, Md. Mahmudul (Universiti Utara Malaysia); Hossain, Mohammad Saeed; Islam, Nurul; Murad, Wahid; Khan, Niaz Ahmed
    Abstract: This research investigates the health impacts and access to health services by children who are engaged in waste collection in Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh. The relevant qualitative data were collected through expert interviews and personal observations, while quantitative data were gathered through a face-to-face questionnaire survey given to 50 street children who collected waste at the landfill site located in Dhaka city’s Matuail area. The results indicate that 94% of these children have suffered from many health problems, such as fever and fatigue due to tiredness, dizziness, and vomiting. Consequently, a significant portion of their daily income is spent on medical treatment. This study suggests that the waste collection system must integrate modern technological, health and environmental resources so that: firstly, they do not harm waste collectors; and secondly, rehabilitate the street children and give them better access to acceptable basic amenities. This is a priority the city authorities.
    Date: 2021–12–30
  13. By: Bo E. Honoré (Princeton University); Chris Muris (McMaster University); Martin Weidner (University of Oxford)
    Abstract: We study a dynamic ordered logit model for panel data with fixed effects. We establish the validity of a set of moment conditions that are free of the fixed effects and that can be computed using four or more periods of data. We establish sufficient conditions for these moment conditions to identify the regression coefficients, the autoregressive parameters, and the threshold parameters. The parameters can be estimated using generalized method of moments. We document the performance of this estimator using Monte Carlo simulations and an empirical illustration to self-reported health status using the British Household Panel Survey.
    Keywords: model
    JEL: C23 C25
    Date: 2021–07
  14. By: Pierre Levasseur (SADAPT - Sciences pour l'Action et le Développement : Activités, Produits, Territoires - AgroParisTech - Université Paris-Saclay - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)
    Abstract: Recent studies reported that the age of primary school enrolment is a major driver of educational achievement and adult income, but its impacts on childhood health and nutrition remain largely unknown, particularly in developing countries where childhood stunting and overweight coexist. In Brazil, children are supposed to enrol in primary school the year they turn 6. Using a database of middle school students in Brazil based on a 2015 survey, I implemented an instrumental variables strategy using quasi-exogenous variations in the students' birthdates to isolate the impact of late primary school enrolment (i.e., older than 6 when enrolled) on height-forage and body mass-forage indicators. Overall, late enrolment has protective effects against hazardous weight gain (− 0.14 z-score unit) but significantly increases the risk of moderate stunting (by 1.5% points). Heterogeneity in family backgrounds may explain these results. Indeed, delayed school enrolment is particularly detrimental for the nutritional status of students from underprivileged settings. In terms of public policy, rather than changing school starting age, this study highlights the importance of focusing on pathways to fight both stunting and overweight conditions in Brazilian children.
    Date: 2022–01–01
  15. By: Aslund, Olof (Uppsala University); Engdahl, Mattias (IFAU); Rosenqvist, Olof (IFAU)
    Abstract: We study the impact of asylum waiting, exploiting a rapid increase in processing times for asylum seekers to Sweden. Longer waiting slows down integration. Accumulated earnings during the first four years after application are 2.3 percent lower per added month of waiting. The impact is due to delay rather than negative effects of waiting per se. There is no evidence of detrimental effects on psychiatric or other forms of health. From the date of asylum, those who have waited longer perform better in the labor market and are more likely to start advanced language training and labor market programs.
    Keywords: asylum waiting, labor market, health
    JEL: F22 J15 J68
    Date: 2022–02
  16. By: Aditya Goenka (University of Birmingham [Birmingham]); Lin Liu (University of Liverpool); Manh-Hung Nguyen (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)
    Abstract: Preliminary evidence indicates that pollution increases the severity and likelihood of COVID-19 infections similar to many other infectious diseases. This paper models the inter-action of pollution and disease preventive actions, either pharmaceutical or non-pharmaceutical interventions, on transmission of infectious diseases in a neoclassical growth framework. There are two externalities – households do not take into account how their actions affect disease transmission, and productive activity results in pollution which increases the likelihood of in-fections. The disease dynamics are modeled to be of SIS type. We study the difference in health and economic outcomes between the decentralized economy, where households do not internalize externalities, and socially optimal outcomes, and characterize the taxes and subsi-dies that decentralize the latter. Thus, we examine the question whether there are sufficient incentives to reduce pollution, at both private and public levels, once its effects on disease transmission is considered. In competitive outcomes, pollution increases with increased pro-ductivity. The socially efficient outcome has higher pollution than a competitive outcome, despite increase in abatement, as the effect of higher productivity and larger labor supply dom-inates. The results question the hopes of a Green Recovery.
    Keywords: Green Recovery,Infectious disease,Pollution: environmental policy,Covid-19,Dynamic Pigovian taxes
    Date: 2021–11
  17. By: Marion Davin (CEE-M - Centre d'Economie de l'Environnement - Montpellier - UMR 5211 - UM - Université de Montpellier - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Montpellier SupAgro - Institut national d’études supérieures agronomiques de Montpellier - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement); Mouez Fodha (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Thomas Seegmuller (AMSE - Aix-Marseille Sciences Economiques - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - ECM - École Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: We study whether fiscal policies, especially public debt, can help to curb the macroeconomic and health consequences of epidemics. Our approach is based on three main features: we introduce the dynamics of epidemics in an overlapping generations model to take into account that old people are more vulnerable; people are more easily infected when pollution is high; public spending in health care and public debt can be used to tackle the effects of epidemics. We show that fiscal policies can promote convergence to a stable disease-free steady state. When public policies are not able to permanently eradicate the epidemic, public debt, and income transfers could reduce the number of infected people and increase capital and GDP per capita. As a prerequisite, pollution intensity should not be too high. Finally, we define a household subsidy policy that eliminates income and welfare inequalities between healthy and infected individuals.
    Keywords: public debt,overlapping generations,pollution,Epidemics
    Date: 2021–12–06
  18. By: André Schmitt; Sandrine Spaeter
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to show whether the insurance and reinsurance sectors supplemented by qualified investors in cat bonds can offer business interruption protection due to a pandemic such as COVID-19 at affordable rates. First, we propose a comprehensive numerical model to show how cat bonds can contribute to complement standard (re)insurance even though risks are positively correlated between different firms or sectors. We present the conditions under which fairer coverage can be provided to insured firms. Second, we discuss the characteristics of the triggers that are needed to provide efficient pandemic business interruption cat bonds (PBI cat bonds), which do not exist yet on the market of insurancelinked securities (ILS). The double trigger pandemic bonds we build are structured on a first trigger which is pulled when the World Health Organization (WHO) declares a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). The second trigger determines the payout of the bond based on the modelized business interruption losses of an industry in a country. In this framework, we discuss moral hazard, basis risk, correlation and liquidity issues. Third, to answer the feasibility of our (two-layer) coverage scheme we simulate the life of theoretical PBI bonds at the height of the pandemic. We apply them to the restaurant industry in France and we use data gathered during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Keywords: pandemic cat bond, business interruption losses, securitization, (re)insurance.
    JEL: G11 Q54 G22
    Date: 2022
  19. By: Fanny Velardo (BPH - Bordeaux population health - UB - Université de Bordeaux - Institut de Santé Publique, d'Épidémiologie et de Développement (ISPED) - INSERM - Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, Department of Methodology and Innovation in Prevention, Bordeaux University Hospital); Verity Watson (University of Aberdeen); Pierre Arwidson (Santé publique France - French National Public Health Agency [Saint-Maurice, France]); François Alla (BPH - Bordeaux population health - UB - Université de Bordeaux - Institut de Santé Publique, d'Épidémiologie et de Développement (ISPED) - INSERM - Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, Department of Methodology and Innovation in Prevention, Bordeaux University Hospital); Stéphane Luchini (AMSE - Aix-Marseille Sciences Economiques - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - ECM - École Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Michaël Schwarzinger (BPH - Bordeaux population health - UB - Université de Bordeaux - Institut de Santé Publique, d'Épidémiologie et de Développement (ISPED) - INSERM - Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, Department of Methodology and Innovation in Prevention, Bordeaux University Hospital)
    Abstract: It can be assumed that higher SARS-CoV-2 infection risk is associated with higher COVID-19 vaccination intentions, although evidence is scarce. In this large and representative survey of 6007 adults aged 18–64 years and residing in France, 8.1% (95% CI, 7.5–8.8) reported a prior SARS-CoV-2 infection in December 2020, with regional variations according to an East–West gradient (p
    Keywords: SARS-CoV-2,COVID-19,mass vaccination,anti-vaccination behavior,vaccine hesitancy,survey experiment,discrete choice experiment,France
    Date: 2021–11
  20. By: Dzung Bui (University of Marburg); Lena Dräger (Leibniz University of Hannover); Bernd Hayo (University of Marburg); Giang Nghiem (Leibniz University of Hannover)
    Abstract: In response to the economic crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic, many governments provided financial assistance to households. Using representative consumer surveys conducted during the pandemic in 2020, we examine the effects of this fiscal policy instrument on households in two emerging economies, Vietnam and Thailand. Our paper contributes to the literature by studying consumer sentiment and durable spending responses to government financial support and the underlying transmission channels for these responses. We find that government support improves consumer sentiment and increases the likelihood of durable spending. Possible channels for these effects include more optimistic macroeconomic expectations and higher trust in the government's ability to deal with the pandemic, as well as less concern about the general impact of the crisis. We also find that financial support improves individuals' mental health and life satisfaction. Our results suggest that government financial support not only helps stimulate the economy but also enhances people's well-being more generally.
    Keywords: Fiscal policy, Financial support of households, Consumer sentiment, Durables spending, Expectations, Government trust, COVID-19, Thailand, Vietnam
    JEL: E62 E71 D12 D83 H31
    Date: 2021
  21. By: Maryam Farboodi (MIT); Gregor Jarosch (Princeton University); Robert Shimer (University of Chicago)
    Abstract: We develop a quantitative framework for exploring how individuals trade off the utility benefit of social activity against the internal and external health risks that come with social interactions during a pandemic. We calibrate the model to external targets and then compare its predictions with daily data on social activity, fatalities, and the estimated effective reproduction number R(t) from the COVID-19 pandemic in March-June 2020. While the laissez- faire equilibrium is consistent with much of the decline in social activity that we observed in US data, optimal policy further imposes immediate and highly persistent social distancing. Notably, neither equilibrium nor optimal social distancing is extremely restrictive, in the sense that the effective reproduction number never falls far below 1. The expected cost of COVID-19 in the US is substantial, $12,700 in the laissez-faire equilibrium and $8,100 per person under an optimal policy. Optimal policy generates this large welfare gain by shifting the composition of costs from fatalities to persistent social distancing.
    Keywords: COVID-19, social activity, reproduction number, economic epidemiology, optimal control, externalities
    JEL: D11 D81 I12 I18
    Date: 2021–03
  22. By: Conlisk, Sarah
    Abstract: In early 2020, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) spread to the United States and upended normal life. Using trip-level data on over 17 million taxi rides taken in Chicago from 2018-2021, I document how tipping behavior changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. I find that the average non-zero tip increased by almost 2 percentage points, from roughly 26% to 28% of the taxi fare. Meanwhile, the likelihood that a passenger left a tip at all declined by roughly 5 percentage points, down from a pre-pandemic likelihood of 95%. My preferred specification suggests that the effect on the intensive margin dominates that in the extensive margin, leading to an aggregate increase in tipping generosity during the pandemic. I leverage granularity in the data to explore the mechanisms behind these trends and offer two explanations consistent with the data. First, passengers responded to the two economic shocks of the pandemic – unemployment and savings overhangs – by varying their tipping rates accordingly. Second, passengers internalized the increased risk of COVID-19 infection as an additional cost for taxi drivers and increased their tips as compensation. My analysis testifies to the sustainability of tipping in times of crises and offers theoretical insight into what drives tipping behavior.
    Date: 2021–12–15
  23. By: John Mitchell (OECD); James Lewis (Office for National Statistics); Jorrit Zwijnenburg (OECD); Rachida Dkhissi (OECD); Thomas Prendergast (Office for National Statistics)
    Abstract: The measurement of non-market output, characterised by providing goods and services without economically significant prices, has always proved challenging for compilers of the National Accounts. Various approaches are available to meet these challenges, often resulting in slight differences in methodology between countries. Government policies, introduced in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic exacerbated some of these existing differences, potentially influencing the GDP estimates across countries. This joint paper by the United Kingdom Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) explains the methodological options available to statistical compilers and explores differences in methodologies used by countries to measure non-market output, analysing their implications for international comparisons of GDP growth during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Keywords: COVID, education, GDP, National Accounts methodology, non-market output
    JEL: H51 H52 C82 E01
    Date: 2022–02–21

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