nep-hea New Economics Papers
on Health Economics
Issue of 2022‒08‒22
23 papers chosen by
Nicolas R. Ziebarth
Cornell University

  1. UNEMPLOYMENT AND HEALTH: A META-ANALYSIS By Matteo Picchio; Michele Ubaldi
  2. Health and Economic Growth: Reconciling the Micro and Macro Evidence By David E. Bloom; David Canning; Rainer Kotschy; Klaus Prettner; Johannes Schünemann; Rainer Franz Kotschy
  3. Spillover Effects of Old-Age Pension across Generations: Family Labor Supply and Child Outcomes By Katja Maria Kaufmann; Yasemin Özdemir; Han Ye
  4. México | ¿Los SMS nudges promueven la salud financiera? By Guillermo Jr. Cárdenas Salgado; Juan José Li Ng; Héctor Ortega Rosas; Susana Ramos Villaseñor; Carlos Serrano; Elmer Solano Flores
  5. Exploring Border Effects: Sensitivity of Cigarette Consumption to Excise Tax By Aisha Baisalova
  6. Another Day, Another Visit: Impact of Arkansas' Mandatory Waiting Period for Women Seeking an Abortion by Demographic Groups By Altindag, Onur; Joyce, Theodore J.
  7. Elites and Health Infrastructure Improvements in Industrializing Regimes By Tommy Krieger
  8. How Do Insurers Price Medical Malpractice Insurance? By Black, Bernard; Traczynski, Jeffrey; Udalova, Victoria
  9. Sick and Depressed? The Causal Impact of a Diabetes Diagnosis on Depression By Gaggero, Alessio; Gil, Joan; Jiménez-Rubio, Dolores; Zucchelli, Eugenio
  10. At the intersection of adverse life course pathways: the effects on health by nativity By Silvia Loi; Peng Li; Mikko Myrskylä
  11. The Roads One Must Walk Down: Commute and Depression for Beijing's Residents By Xize Wang; Tao Liu
  12. Association between Social Activity and Skeletal Muscle Mass (Japanese) By TABARA Yasuharu
  13. The Unequal Impact of the COVID Pandemic: Theory and Evidence on Health and Economic Outcomes for Different Income Groups By Aubert, Cécile; Dang, Hai-Anh; Nguyen, Manh-Hung
  14. Mental health effects of COVID-19 lockdowns: a Twitter-based analysis By Sara Colella; Frédéric Dufourt; Vincent A. Hildebrand; Rémi Vivès
  15. Covid-19 supply-side fiscal policies to escape the health-vs-economy dilemma By Emanuele Colombo Azimonti; Luca Portoghese; Patrizio Tirelli
  16. The dietary impact of the COVID-19 pandemic By O'Connell, Martin; Smith, Kate; Stroud, Rebekah
  17. A Literature Review and Meta-Analysis of the Effects of Lockdowns on Covid-19 Mortality - II By Herby, Jonas; Jonung, Lars; Hanke, Steve
  18. Patterns of protection, infection, and detection: Country-level effectiveness of COVID 19 vaccination in reducing mortality worldwide By Rughinis, Cosima; Dima, Mihai; Vulpe, Simona Nicoleta; Rughinis, Razvan; Vasile, Sorina
  19. How important is neighbourhood labour structure in the spread of COVID-19? Within-city evidence from England By Carlo Corradini; Jesse Matheson; Enrico Vanino
  20. Job Insecurity during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Spain By Juan A.; Francisco Lagos; Ana I. Moro-Egido
  21. Assessing the Impact of Business Closures on COVID-19 Outcomes By Chima Simpson-Bell; Xuequan Elsie Peng
  22. To protect myself, others, or both? An investigation of preferences and the uptake of COVID-19 preventative measures in Australia By Chun Yee Wong; Le Zhang
  23. Branded Websites and Marketplace Selling: Competing during COVID-19 By Oksana Loginova

  1. By: Matteo Picchio (Department of Economics and Social Sciences, Marche Polytechnic University); Michele Ubaldi (Department of Economics and Social Sciences, Marche Polytechnic University)
    Abstract: This paper is a meta-analysis on the relationship between unemployment and health. Our meta-dataset is made up of 327 study results coming from 65 articles published in peer-reviewed journals between 1990 and 2021. We find that publication bias is important, but only for those study results obtained through difference-in-differences or instrumental variables estimators. The average effect of unemployment on health is negative, but small in terms of partial correlation coefficient. We investigate if findings are heterogeneous among several research dimensions. We find that unemployment is mostly effective on the psychological domains of health and that short- and long-term unemployment spells equally affect health. Dealing with endogeneity issues is important and, when this is done, the unemployment effects on health are closer to be nil.
    Keywords: Unemployment; health; meta-analysis; meta-regression; publication bias
    JEL: C52 I10 I12 J64
    Date: 2022–07
  2. By: David E. Bloom; David Canning; Rainer Kotschy; Klaus Prettner; Johannes Schünemann; Rainer Franz Kotschy
    Abstract: Economists use micro-based and macro-based approaches to assess the macroeconomic return to population health. The macro-based approach tends to yield estimates that are either negative and close to zero or positive and an order of magnitude larger than the range of estimates derived from the micro-based approach. This presents a micro-macro puzzle regarding the macroeconomic return to health. We reconcile the two approaches by controlling for the indirect effects of health, which macro-based approaches usually include but micro-based approaches deliberately omit when isolating the direct effect of health. Our results show that the macroeconomic return to health lies in the range of plausible microeconomic estimates, demonstrating that both approaches are in fact consistent with one another.
    Keywords: productivity, population health, human capital, economic development
    JEL: I15 I25 J11 O11 O15
    Date: 2022
  3. By: Katja Maria Kaufmann; Yasemin Özdemir; Han Ye
    Abstract: We study the impact of grandparental retirement decisions on family members’ labor supply and child outcomes by exploiting a Dutch pension reform in a fuzzy Regression Discontinuity design. A one-hour increase in grandmothers’ hours worked causes adult daughters with young children to work half an hour less. Daughters without children, with older children and sons/daughters-in-law are not affected. We show important long-run impacts on maternal labor supply and on the child penalty. Test score effects are positive for children aged 4-7 (substitution from grandparental to maternal care), and negative for children aged 11-12 (substitution from grandparental to formal childcare).
    Keywords: spillover effects, retirement, grandparental childcare, maternal labor supply, child development
    JEL: J13 J22 J26 I38 D64
    Date: 2022
  4. By: Guillermo Jr. Cárdenas Salgado; Juan José Li Ng; Héctor Ortega Rosas; Susana Ramos Villaseñor; Carlos Serrano; Elmer Solano Flores
    Abstract: We presented the results of a Randomized Control Test (RCT) to people who received nudges through SMS in order to promote financial health variables. The target population was about 95,000 people in two age groups: 27 to 38 and 39 to 56 years old. We presented the results of a Randomized Control Test (RCT) to people who received nudges through SMS in order to promote financial health variables. The target population was about 95,000 people in two age groups: 27 to 38 and 39 to 56 years old.
    Keywords: Nudges, Empujones del comportamiento, Behavioral economics, Economía del comportamiento, savings, ahorro, Digital banking, Banca digital, Financial health, Salud financiera, Mexico, México, Banks, Banca, Digital Trends, Tendencias Digitales, Financial Inclusion, Inclusión Financiera, Digital Economy, Economía Digital, Sustainable Development, Desarrollo Sostenible, Working Papers, Documento de Trabajo
    JEL: D14 D91 G21 O16
    Date: 2022–08
  5. By: Aisha Baisalova
    Abstract: Border effects can have a considerable influence on the effectiveness of excise tax policy measures. The opportunity to buy taxable goods in the nearest lower-tax state redistributes the tax burden among consumers and determines the treatment intensity of how an increase in the tax rate may affect consumption decision. Using Nielsen Consumer Panel data, we estimate the bias arising from border effects and investigate how sensitivity to cigarette excise tax and the size of bias vary for different demographic groups. We find that border effects create a bias in the estimate of consumption sensitivity to an increase in the excise tax rate, which is present for all demographic groups. Tax sensitivity increases with the average distance to the lower tax state border, implying that border residence decreases the impact of excise tax policy interventions on consumer choice.
    Keywords: excise taxation; cigarettes; cross-state purchasing; tax avoidance; border effects;
    JEL: D12 H26 H71 L66
    Date: 2022–07
  6. By: Altindag, Onur (Bentley University); Joyce, Theodore J. (Baruch College, City University of New York)
    Abstract: Twenty-six states require that women seeking an abortion wait between 18 and 72 hours after receipt of counseling before the abortion can be completed. Thirteen states require that the counseling be given in person necessitating at least two visits to the provider. In April of 2015, Arkansas increased the waiting period for an abortion from 24 to 48 hours and more significantly, required that women receive the counseling in person. We use a regression discontinuity design to analyze the immediate effect of Arkansas's 2015 mandatory waiting period (MWP) law on abortion rates. We use de-identified, individual-level data from the Arkansas Department of Health (DOH) on all abortions performed in Arkansas from 2000 to 2020. Abortion rates fell 17 percent among all women, but 22 percent among white non-Hispanics and 14 percent among black non-Hispanics immediately after the law went into effect. We show that the law decreased abortion rates the most among unmarried adults with children. Abortion is now illegal in Arkansas. Given the decline in abortion rates associated the MWP's two-visit requirement, abortion rates will likely fall further as travel distance to the nearest legal provider increases.
    Keywords: mandatory waiting period, abortion, Arkansas
    JEL: I11 I12 I18 J13 K23
    Date: 2022–07
  7. By: Tommy Krieger
    Abstract: We collect information about more than 5,000 Prussian politicians, digitize administrative data on the provision of health-promoting public goods, and gather local-level information on workers’ movements to study why elites in industrializing countries implement policies that improve the health of the poor. Exploiting county-level variation in elite structure, we present OLS and IV estimates, suggesting that elites improve access to health services due to pressure exerted by workers’ movements and that they voluntarily implement policies that prevent disease outbreaks. An analysis of two rollcall votes substantiates the findings of the county-level analysis.
    Keywords: distribution of power, elite structure, industrializing countries, political economy of health-promoting policies, Prussian history, redistribution, workers’ movements
    JEL: H11 H42 H75 I15 N33 O43 P16
    Date: 2022
  8. By: Black, Bernard (Northwestern University); Traczynski, Jeffrey (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation); Udalova, Victoria (U.S. Census Bureau)
    Abstract: We study the factors that predict medical malpractice ("med mal") insurance premia, using national data from Medical Liability Monitor over 1990 to 2017. A number of core findings are not easily explained by standard economic theory. First, we estimate long run elasticities of premia to insurers' direct cost (payouts plus defense costs), allowing for lags of up to four years, of only around +0.40, when one might expect elasticities near one. Second, state caps on malpractice damages predict a roughly 50% higher ratio of premia to direct costs even though, in competitive markets, a damages cap should affect premia primarily through effect on cost. A difference-in-differences analysis of the "new cap" states that adopted caps during the early 2000's provides evidence supporting a causal link between cap adoption and the ratio of premium to direct cost. Third, the premium-to-cost ratio, which one might expect to be fairly constant over time, instead varies widely both across states at a given time and within states across time. Our results suggest that insurance companies do not fully adjust revenues to changes in direct costs even over long time periods. Insurers in new-cap states have been able to charge apparently supra-competitive prices for a sustained period.
    Keywords: insurance premium, medical malpractice, physicians
    JEL: D22 G22 K13
    Date: 2022–06
  9. By: Gaggero, Alessio (Universidad de Granada); Gil, Joan (University of Barcelona); Jiménez-Rubio, Dolores (Universidad de Granada); Zucchelli, Eugenio (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)
    Abstract: There is sparse evidence on the impact of health information on mental health as well as on the mechanisms governing this relationship. We estimate the causal impact of health information on mental health via the effect of a diabetes diagnosis on depression. We employ a fuzzy regression discontinuity design (RDD) exploiting the exogenous cut-off value in the diagnosis of type-2 diabetes provided by a biomarker (glycated haemoglobin) and information on diagnosed clinical depression drawn from rich administrative longitudinal data from Spain. We find that overall a type-2 diabetes diagnosis increases the probability of becoming depressed, however this effect appears to be driven mostly by women. Results also appear to differ by changes in lifestyle induced by the diabetes diagnosis: while women who did not lose weight are more likely to develop depression, men who did lose weight present a reduced probability of being depressed. Results are robust to alternative parametric and non-parametric specifications and placebo tests.
    Keywords: diabetes, depression, fuzzy regression discontinuity design, administrative longitudinal data, lifestyle changes
    JEL: C21 I10 I12
    Date: 2022–06
  10. By: Silvia Loi (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Peng Li (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Mikko Myrskylä (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: Adverse life events are major causes of declining health and well-being, but the effects are not the same across subpopulations. We analyze how the intersection of nativity and two main adverse life events, job loss and divorce, affect individual health and well-being trajectories. Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (1984-2017), we apply descriptive techniques and individual fixed-effects regressions to analyze how job loss and divorce influence health. Our results support the hypothesis of the intersectional effects of disadvantage and adversities on health and well-being, with immigrants suffering more from adverse life events than natives in both the short and the long run. Compared to natives, immigrants have a health advantage at younger ages, which turns into a disadvantage at older ages. The observed health declines are particularly steep among immigrants who experienced adverse life events. These results help to explain the vanishing health advantage of immigrants by showing that they are exposed to a double disadvantage over the life course: i.e., immigrants are more likely than natives to suffer from adverse life events, and such events typically have a larger impact on the health of immigrants than of natives. Our findings are the first to provide evidence on the effects of different adverse life events intersecting with each other and with nativity. Moreover, our results highlight the importance of intersectional analyses in research on immigrant health.
    Keywords: Germany, health, inequality, migrants
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2022
  11. By: Xize Wang (National University of Singapore); Tao Liu (Peking University)
    Abstract: As a vital aspect of individual's quality of life, mental health has been included as an important component of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals. This study focuses on a specific aspect of mental health: depression, and examines its relationship with commute patterns. Using survey data from 1,528 residents in Beijing, China, we find that every 10 additional minutes of commute time is associated with 1.1% higher likelihood of depression. We test for the mechanisms of the commute-depression link and find that commute is associated with depression as a direct stressor rather than triggering higher work stress. When decomposing commute time into mode-specific time, we found that time on mopeds/motorcycles has the strongest association with depression. Moreover, the commute-depression associations are stronger for older workers and blue-collar workers. Hence, policies that could reduce commute time, encourage work from home, improve job-housing balance or increase motorcyclists' safety would help promote mental health.
    Date: 2022–07
  12. By: TABARA Yasuharu
    Abstract: Because frailty in older adults is a strong risk factor for functional disability, early intervention for individuals who are at-risk of becoming frailty is important in preventing them from becoming bedridden and dying. Sarcopenia, a complex phenotype defined by loss of muscle mass, weak muscle strength, and decreased physical performance, is the primary cause of frailty. Typical risk factors for sarcopenia identified to date include aging, low body weight, malnutrition, and reduced daily activity. In addition, decreased social activity may also be a risk factor for sarcopenia, although few studies have examined the association between them. In this study, we aimed to investigate the possible involvement of social activity in sarcopenia in a community-dwelling of older adults. A total of 2,212 participants of the Nagahama study, a longitudinal study based on community residents living in the Nagahama City, Shiga Prefecture, Japan, was included in the analysis. Social activity was queried using a structured questionnaire. The skeletal muscle mass index (SMI) measured using bioimpedance analysis was used as an index of skeletal muscle mass. The mean age of the study participants was 71.0 ± 4.1 years, and 43.0% were male. SMI was significantly lower in women, and positively correlated with body mass index in both sexes. Individuals who had been engaged in agriculture, forestry, or fisheries had significantly higher SMI independently of age and body mass index. The degree of neighborliness was also significantly related to SMI, with significantly lower SMI for those who had limited or infrequent neighborhood contacts. In addition, SMI was higher in individuals who engaged in frequent social activities, such as community activities, sports/hobbies/recreational activities, and volunteer/non-profit organizations/civic activities. This paper concludes that higher social activity is a protective factor for the development of sarcopenia.
    Date: 2022–07
  13. By: Aubert, Cécile (University of Bordeaux); Dang, Hai-Anh (World Bank); Nguyen, Manh-Hung (Toulouse School of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper studies how wealth and health inequalities have interacted with the Covid-19 epidemic in a way that has reinforced inequalities in income, savings, epidemic risk and even individual preventive behaviors. We present in more detail two papers and their theoretical and empirical results. Recovery and contamination rates are functions of an individual's health status and capacity to access quality healthcare. Poorer individuals, who face budget constraints, have a higher risk of loosing their income because of contamination. Data on six countries confirm a disproportionate impact of the epidemic on the poorest 60% of the population.
    Keywords: COVID-19, poverty, income quintiles, healthcare, behavior changes
    JEL: D0 H0 I1 I3 O1
    Date: 2022–06
  14. By: Sara Colella (Aix-Marseille Univ, CNRS, AMSE, Marseille, France.); Frédéric Dufourt (Aix-Marseille Univ, CNRS, AMSE, Marseille, France.); Vincent A. Hildebrand (Glendon College, York University and Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto); Rémi Vivès (Glendon College, York University)
    Abstract: We derive a mental health indicator measuring the frequency of words expressing anger,anxiety and sadness from a fixed population of Twitter users located in France. Duringthe first COVID-19 lockdown, our indicator did not reveal a statistically significant mentalhealth response, while the second lockdown triggered a sharp and persistent deteriorationin all three emotions. In addition, DID and event study estimates show a more severemental health deterioration among women and younger users during the second lockdown.Our results suggest that successive stay-at-home orders significantly worsen mental healthacross a large segment of the population.
    Keywords: COVID-19, lockdown, mental health, Twitter data, well-being
    JEL: C81 I12 I18 I31
    Date: 2022–07
  15. By: Emanuele Colombo Azimonti (University of Pavia); Luca Portoghese (University of Pavia); Patrizio Tirelli (University of Pavia)
    Abstract: We develop a model that allows for online retail trade and for endogenous Covid related health expenditures. The market equilibrium at best imperfectly internalises the infection risk from contact-intensive retail trade, and the anticipation of health costs has large contractionary effects. The Ramsey planner exploits a subsidy to online trade to limit lockdown policies. Relative to the market equilibrium, the optimal policy stimulates consumption and contains the surge in health expenditures, mitigating both the recession and the persistence of the Covid-19 shock.
    JEL: E62 H21 H30 H51 I18
    Date: 2022–07
  16. By: O'Connell, Martin; Smith, Kate; Stroud, Rebekah
    Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic led to significant changes in people's budgets, the opportunity cost of their time, and where they can purchase and consume food. We use novel data on food and non-alcoholic drink purchases from stores, takeaways, restaurants and other outlets to estimate the impact of the pandemic on the diets of a large, representative panel of British households. We find that a substantial and persistent increase in calories consumed at home more than offset reductions in calories eaten out. Households increased total calories relative to pre-pandemic by 280 per adult per day from March to July 2020, and by 150 from July to the end of 2020. Although quantity increased, there was little change in diet quality over the pandemic. All socioeconomic groups increased their calorie intake, with the largest rises for the highest SES households and the smallest for retired ones. We estimate that the changes could increase the proportion of adults who are overweight by at least five percentage points, two years after the pandemic onset.
    Keywords: Covid-19 pandemic; diet; health; nutrition; obesity; Covid-19; coronavirus; ES/V003968/1 ; under the Centre for the Microeconomic Analysis of Public Policy (CPP; grant number ES/T014334/1); under the Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice (CeMMAP; grant number ES/P008909/1); and under the Open Research Area (ORA; grant number ES/VO13513/1).
    JEL: D12 I12 I31
    Date: 2022–07–01
  17. By: Herby, Jonas; Jonung, Lars; Hanke, Steve
    Abstract: The purpose of this systematic review and meta-analysis is to determine the effect of lockdowns on COVID-19 mortality based on available empirical evidence. Lockdowns are defined as the imposition of at least one compulsory, non-pharmaceutical intervention (NPI). We employ a systematic search and screening procedure in which 19,646 studies are identified that could potentially address the purpose of our study. After three levels of screening, 32 studies qualified. Of those, estimates from 22 studies could be converted to standardized measures for inclusion in the meta-analysis. They are separated into three groups: lockdown stringency index studies,shelter-in-place-order (SIPO) studies, and specific NPI studies. Stringency index studies find that the average lockdown in Europe and the United States in the spring of 2020 only reduced COVID19 mortality by 3.2%. This translates into approximately 6,000 avoided deaths in Europe and 4,000 in the United States. SIPOs were also relatively ineffective in the spring of 2020, only reducing COVID-19 mortality by 2.0%. This translates into approximately 4,000 avoided deaths in Europe and 3,000 in the United States. Based on specific NPIs, we estimate that the average lockdown in Europe and the United States in the spring of 2020 reduced COVID-19 mortality by 10.7%. This translates into approximately 23,000 avoided deaths in Europe and 16,000 in the United States. In comparison, there are approximately 72,000 flu deaths in Europe and 38,000 flu deaths in the United States each year. When checked for potential biases, our results are robust. Our results are also supported by the natural experiments we have been able to identify. The results of our meta-analysis support the conclusion that lockdowns in the spring of 2020 had little to no effect on COVID-19 mortality. This result is consistent with the view that voluntary changes in behavior, such as social distancing, did play an important role in mitigating the pandemic.
    Keywords: COVID-19, lockdown, non-pharmaceutical interventions, mortality, systematic review, meta-analysis
    JEL: D1 D19 I1 I18 I3 I38
    Date: 2022–05
  18. By: Rughinis, Cosima; Dima, Mihai; Vulpe, Simona Nicoleta; Rughinis, Razvan; Vasile, Sorina
    Abstract: We investigated the negative relationship between mortality and COVID 19 vaccination at ecological level, which has been established through clinical trials and other investigations at the individual level. We conducted an exploratory, correlational, country-level analysis of open data centralized by Our World in Data concerning the cumulative COVID 19 mortality for the winter wave (October 2021–March 2022) of the pandemic as function of the vaccination rate in October 2021. At country level, patterns of vaccine protection have not been clearly differentiated from patterns of COVID-19 infection and detection. In order to disentangle the protective relationship from confounding processes, we controlled variables that capture country-level social development and level of testing. We also deployed three segmentation tactics, distinguishing among countries based on their level of COVID 19 testing, age structure, and types of vaccines used. Controlling for confounding factors did not highlight a statistically significant global relationship between vaccination and cumulative mortality in the total country sample. As suggested by previous estimates at country level, a strong, significant, negative relationship between cumulative mortality (log scale) and vaccination was highlighted through segmentation analysis for countries positioned at the higher end of the social development spectrum. The strongest estimate for vaccine effectiveness at ecological level was obtained for countries that use Western-only vaccines. This may partly reflect the higher effectiveness of Western vaccines in comparison with the average of all vaccines in use; it may also derive from the lower social heterogeneity of countries included in this segment, which minimizes confounding influences. COVID-19 testing (log scale) has a significant and positive relationship with cumulative mortality for all subsamples, consistent with patterns of under- and overreporting of COVID-19 deaths at country level, partly driven by testing. This indicates that testing intensity should be controlled as a potential confounder in future ecological analyses of COVID-19 mortality.
    Keywords: COVID-19 vaccine; vaccine effectiveness; mortality; COVID-19 testing; ecological study
    JEL: I00
    Date: 2022
  19. By: Carlo Corradini (University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK); Jesse Matheson (Department of Economics, University of Sheffield, UK); Enrico Vanino (Department of Economics, University of Sheffield, UK)
    Abstract: In this paper we estimate the importance of local labour structure in the spread of COVID19 during the first year of the pandemic. We build a unique data set across 6,700 neighbourhoods in England that allows us to distinguish between people living (residents) and people working (workers) in a neighbourhood, and to differentiate between jobs that can be done from home (homeworkers), jobs that likely continued on-site (keyworkers), and non-essential on-site jobs. We use these data to study the relationship between the within-city variation in neighbourhood population/employment structures and the within-city variation in COVID-19 spread. Neighbourhood labour structure is important, explaining approximately 9.5% of the within-city variation over-and-above population density and other confounders. Holding residential population constant, 50 more residents working from home decreases neighbourhood cases by almost one-third relative to the mean; having 50 more residents in keywork jobs increases neighbourhood cases by almost two-thirds. We find the magnitude of these results varies by neighbourhood deprivation levels. In high-deprivation neighbourhoods, the positive effect of keyworkers on cases is larger, while the protective effect of homeworkers is lower than in more affluent areas. We speculate on how the various types of occupations within these job categories drive the differences across neighbourhoods. These findings point to important asymmetries in the social justice of the policy response to COVID-19, providing useful insights for the design of future economic policies and public health strategies during the endemic phase of the disease.
    Keywords: Urban Density, Local Labour Market, Public Health Policy
    JEL: H12 I18 R12
    Date: 2022–08
  20. By: Juan A. (Department of Economic Theory and Economic History, University of Granada.); Francisco Lagos (Department of Economic Theory and Economic History, University of Granada.); Ana I. Moro-Egido (Department of Economic Theory and Economic History, University of Granada.)
    Abstract: In a period in which COVID-19 began to spread quickly around the world, and the WHO had just declared a public health emergency of international concern, we examine the impact of these circumstances on perceived job insecurity in the entire population of Spain (both employed and non-employed). We also analyse the role of residential environments (urban/rural) and labour status on these job perceptions. To this end, we conducted a large-scale survey in Spain just before and after the nationwide lockdown was implemented on March 14, 2020, and a law with extraordinary urgent measures to address the economic, labour, and social impact was passed on March 17, 2020 (ERTE in Spanish). Our results show that the lockdown increased job insecurity for individuals not in paid employment but that these perceptions were fully offset by the new law. Regarding the role of place of residence, living in rural areas increased perceived job insecurity for females in paid employment, individuals with children not in paid employment, middle-aged individuals either in paid or unpaid employment, and young individuals not in paid employment, although at different points of time. However, for males in paid employment and older individuals not in paid employment, living in rural areas was accompanied by lower perceived job insecurity. Finally, towns and suburbs also played a role in feelings of job insecurity but only for middle-aged (higher insecurity) and older individuals (lower insecurity).
    Keywords: COVID-19, Lockdown and ERTE, Job insecurity, Urban-rural Differences.
    JEL: C21 D90 H12 I31 R19
    Date: 2022–07–29
  21. By: Chima Simpson-Bell; Xuequan Elsie Peng
    Abstract: In this paper, we present a framework for assessing the effectiveness of different business closure policies, using New York City as a case study. Business closure policies have been widely implemented in an attempt to slow down the pandemic, but it is difficult to measure the contribution of closures of specific industries to virus transmission. Our framework allows us to estimate the impact of specific industry closures on the spread of COVID-19 via their effects on aggregate mobility. We find that early reopening led to a prolonged pandemic and a large case surge in the second wave during 2020, though the reopening allowed the city to regain its economic function as a consumption hub. An alternative policy that extends the lockdown is found to be more cost-effective as it makes future traveling safer and prevents the economy from relapsing into a more stringent policy regime.
    Date: 2022–07–15
  22. By: Chun Yee Wong (IUJ Research Institutey, International University of Japan); Le Zhang (Macquarie University)
    Abstract: Wearing face masks is an important COVID-19 precautionary measure and many governments have mandated wearing face masks in public areas. However, the mandatory policy is hardly sustainable in the long run and has been criticised for reducing autonomy. It is essential to understand the underlying preference for wearing face masks as that can help encourage the use of face masks without government intervention. This study investigates how the uptake of wearing face masks as a COVID-19 precautionary behaviour is determined by self-interest and other-regarding preferences. The results reveal that if people perceive wearing face masks as an act of protecting both themselves and others, the probability of consistent face mask use increases by 46%. However, if people perceive wearing face masks as only protecting themselves, they do not want to wear face masks unless the surrounding people wear them too. These findings provide insights into future government non-mandatory use policies. They suggest that to encourage face mask use, policymakers should consider publicising not only the protection face masks provide for wearers, but also their ability to protect other people.
    Keywords: COVID-19, face mask, precautionary behaviour, protection perception
    Date: 2022–07
  23. By: Oksana Loginova (Department of Economics, University of Missouri)
    Abstract: I consider a market for differentiated products with an online marketplace (the platform) and two types of firms. Marketplace firms sell through the platform. Branded firms sell to consumers directly and, if they choose, through the platform. When a branded firm joins the platform, the firm expands its reach beyond its branded website/physical store(s) to consumers who visit the platform for all their purchases. The drawback is that the firm has to pay a referral fee for all sales on the platform, some of which are from its loyal consumers who would otherwise have purchased from the firm directly. I investigate the role of the firm composition in determining the equilibrium outcome. Interestingly, a higher fraction of branded firms translates into more firms on the platform and intense price competition. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers who used to shop at physical stores turn to the platform. I show that if they do (do not) consider other products, more (fewer) branded firms will join the platform in equilibrium.
    Keywords: price competition, online marketplace platform, brands, consumer shopping behavior, COVID-19
    JEL: C72 D43 L11 L13 M31
    Date: 2022–01–21

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