nep-hea New Economics Papers
on Health Economics
Issue of 2022‒10‒10
24 papers chosen by
Nicolas R. Ziebarth
Cornell University

  1. The Midlife Crisis By Osea Giuntella; Sally McManus; Redzo Mujcic; Andrew J. Oswald; Nattavudh Powdthavee; Ahmed Tohamy
  2. Depression and Loneliness Among the Elderly Poor By Abhijit Banerjee; Esther Duflo; Erin Grela; Madeline McKelway; Frank Schilbach; Garima Sharma; Girija Vaidyanathan
  3. Place Effects and Geographic Inequality in Health at Birth By Na'ama Shenhav; Eric Chyn
  4. Is Longer Maternal Care Always Beneficial? The Impact of a Four-year Paid Parental Leave By Alena Bicakova; Klara Kaliskova
  5. Social Media and Mental Health By Braghieri, Luca; Levy, Ro'ee; Makarin, Alexey
  6. The Effects of Off-label Drug Use on Disability and Medical Expenditure By Katharina E. Blankart; Frank R. Lichtenberg
  7. Price Spillovers and Specialization in health Care: The Case of Children's Hospitals By Ian McCarthy; Mehul V. Raval
  8. The Mental Cost of Job Loss: Assessing the Impact on Young Adults in Vietnam By Freund, Richard; Favara, Marta; Porter, Catherine; Scott, Douglas; Thuc, Duc Le
  9. Impact of proximity to gas production activity on birth outcomes across the US By Christopher F. Baum; Hailee Schuele; Philip J. Landrigan; Summer Sherburne Hawkins
  10. Alcohol and Short-Run Mortality: Evidence from a Modern-Day Prohibition By Barron, Kai; Bradshaw, Debbie; Parry, Charles D. H.; Dorrington, Rob; Groenewald, Pam; Laubscher, Ria; Matzopoulos, Richard
  11. Air Quality Alerts and Don't Drive Appeals: Cautionary Evidence from Germany By Dangel, Alexander; Goeschl, Timo
  12. Stigma Free Lunch: School Meals and Student Discipline By Vitaly Radsky; Thurston Domina; Leah R. Clark; Renuka Bhaskar
  13. The Impact of Maternal Education on Child Immunization: Evidence from Bangladesh By Shahjahan, Md; La Mattina, Giulia; Ayyagari, Padmaja
  14. Financial Fragility, Financial Literacy and the Early Withdrawal of Retirement Savings During COVID-19 By Alison Preston
  15. Data needs for integrated economic-epidemiological models of pandemic mitigation policies By David J. Haw; Christian Morgenstern; Giovanni Forchini; Robert Johnson; Patrick Doohan; Peter C. Smith; Katharina D. Hauck
  16. The Association Between Vaccination Status Identification and Societal Polarization By Luca Henkel; Philipp Sprengholz; Lars Korn; Cornelia Betsch; Robert Böhm
  17. Who changed food consumption behavior after the COVID-19 pandemic? Empirical analysis of Japanese household spending panel data By Shigeru Matsumoto; Thunehiro Otsuki
  18. The WTO and vaccine supply chain resilience during a pandemic By Chad P. Bown
  19. Quantifying Excess Mortality Among Non COVID-19 Patients in Healthcare Settings By Fetzer, T.; Rauh, C.
  20. Mental health effects of COVID-19 lockdowns: a Twitter-based analysis By Sara Colella; Frédéric Dufourt; Vincent A Hildebrand; Rémi Vivès
  21. The Impacts of Covid-19 Illnesses on Workers By Gopi Shah Goda; Evan J. Soltas
  22. COVID-19 and Pro-Sociality: How Do Donors Respond to Local Pandemic Severity, Increased Salience, and Media Coverage? By Adena, Maja; Harke, Julian
  23. Replication and Adaptation of Incentivized Peer Outreach: From Tuberculosis in India to COVID-19 in Zambia By Alfredo Burlando; Pradeep Chintagunta; Jessica Goldberg; Melissa Graboyes; Peter Hangoma; Dean Karlan; Mario Macis; Silvia Prina
  24. The economic and health impacts of contact tracing and quarantine programs By Darija Barak; Edoardo Gallo; Alastair Langtry

  1. By: Osea Giuntella; Sally McManus; Redzo Mujcic; Andrew J. Oswald; Nattavudh Powdthavee; Ahmed Tohamy
    Abstract: This paper documents a longitudinal crisis of midlife among the inhabitants of rich nations. Yet middle-aged citizens in our data sets are close to their peak earnings, have typically experienced little or no illness, reside in some of the safest countries in the world, and live in the most prosperous era in human history. This is paradoxical and troubling. The finding is consistent, however, with the prediction – one little-known to economists – of Elliott Jaques (1965). Our analysis does not rest on elementary cross-sectional analysis. Instead the paper uses panel and through-time data on, in total, approximately 500,000 individuals. It checks that the key results are not due to cohort effects. Nor do we rely on simple life-satisfaction measures. The paper shows that there are approximately quadratic hill-shaped patterns in data on midlife suicide, sleeping problems, alcohol dependence, concentration difficulties, memory problems, intense job strain, disabling headaches, suicidal feelings, and extreme depression. We believe the seriousness of this societal problem has not been grasped by the affluent world’s policy-makers.
    JEL: I12 I14 I31
    Date: 2022–09
  2. By: Abhijit Banerjee; Esther Duflo; Erin Grela; Madeline McKelway; Frank Schilbach; Garima Sharma; Girija Vaidyanathan
    Abstract: The mental health of the elderly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) is a largely neglected subject, both by policy and research. We combine data from the health and retirement family of surveys in seven LMICs (plus the US) to document that depressive symptoms among those aged 55 and above are more prevalent in those countries and increase sharply with age. Depressive symptoms in one survey wave are associated with a greater decline in functional abilities and higher probability of death in the next wave. Using data from a panel survey we conducted in Tamil Nadu with a focus on elderly living alone, we document that social isolation, poverty, and health challenges are three of the leading correlates of depression. We discuss potential policy interventions in these three domains, including some results from our randomized control trials in the Tamil Nadu sample.
    JEL: I15 I3 O1
    Date: 2022–09
  3. By: Na'ama Shenhav; Eric Chyn
    Abstract: This paper uses birth records from California and mothers who move to quantify the absolute and relative importance of birth location in early-life health. Using a model that includes mother and location fixed effects, we find that moving from a below- to an above-median birth weight location leads to a 19-gram increase in average birth weight. These causal place effects explain 16 percent of geographic variation in birth weight, with family-specific factors accounting for the remaining 84 percent. Place effects are more influential for children of non-college-educated mothers, and are most strongly correlated with local levels of pollution. The improvement in birth weight from moving to a higher-quality area compares favorably to policies that target maternal health, and could have a small, lasting effect on long-run outcomes.
    JEL: H51 I1 I15 J13 Q53 R23
    Date: 2022–09
  4. By: Alena Bicakova; Klara Kaliskova
    Abstract: We study the impact of an extension of paid family leave from 3 to 4 years on child long-term outcomes. Using a difference-in-differences design and comparing the first-affected with the last-unaffected cohorts of children, we find that an additional year of maternal care at the age of 3, which primarily crowded out enrollment into public kindergartens, had an adverse effect for children of loweducated mothers on human capital investments and labor-market attachment in early adulthood. The affected children were 12 p.p. more likely not to be in education, employment, or training (NEET) at the age of 21-22. The impact on daughters was larger and driven by a lower probability of attending college and higher probability of home production. Sons of low-educated mothers, on the other hand, were less likely to be employed. The results suggest that exposure to formal childcare may be more beneficial than all-day maternal care at the age of 3, especially for children with a lower socio-economic background.
    Keywords: family leave; maternal care; subsidized childcare; child outcomes; human capital; labor-market attachment;
    JEL: J13 J18 J21 J24
    Date: 2022–08
  5. By: Braghieri, Luca (LMU Munich); Levy, Ro'ee (MIT); Makarin, Alexey (EIEF and CEPR)
    Abstract: The diffusion of social media coincided with a worsening of mental health conditions among adolescents and young adults in the United States, giving rise to speculation that social media might be detrimental to mental health. In this paper, we provide the first quasi-experimental estimates of the impact of social media on mental health by leveraging a unique natural experiment: the staggered introduction of Facebook across U.S. colleges. Our analysis couples data on student mental health around the years of Facebook’s expansion with a generalized difference-in-differences empirical strategy. We find that the roll-out of Facebook at a college increased symptoms of poor mental health, especially depression, and led to increased utilization of mental healthcare services. We also find that, according to the students’ reports, the decline in mental health translated into worse academic performance. Additional evidence on mechanisms suggests the results are due to Facebook fostering unfavorable social comparisons.
    JEL: D12 D72 D90 I10 L82 L86
    Date: 2022–02–24
  6. By: Katharina E. Blankart; Frank R. Lichtenberg
    Abstract: Does using prescription drugs off-label increase disability and medical expenditure? This paper uses a unique dataset to evaluate off-label vs. on-label drug use in the US non-institutionalized population. Patients using drugs off-label have on average $515 higher medical expenditure and work-loss cost. Pharmaceutical innovation has direct and indirect effects on off-label drug use. Market size is indicative of the fraction of treatments used off-label. Our findings have implications for regulation and welfare. We address endogeneity issues by demonstrating that patients with higher disease severity do not experience higher off-label uses and by controlling for unobserved individual and condition effects.
    JEL: I1 L65
    Date: 2022–09
  7. By: Ian McCarthy; Mehul V. Raval
    Abstract: Specialty hospitals tend to negotiate higher commercial insurance payments, even for relatively routine procedures with comparable clinical quality across hospital types. How specialty hospitals can maintain such a price premium remains an open question. In this paper, we examine a potential (horizontal) differentiation effect in which patients perceive specialty hospitals as sufficiently distinct from other hospitals, so that specialty hospitals effectively compete in a separate market from general acute care hospitals. We estimate this effect in the context of routine pediatric procedures offered by both specialty children’s hospitals as well as general acute care hospitals, and we find strong empirical evidence of a differentiation effect in which specialty children’s hospitals appear largely immune to competitive forces from non-children’s hospitals.
    JEL: I11 L11 L15
    Date: 2022–09
  8. By: Freund, Richard (University of Oxford); Favara, Marta (University of Oxford); Porter, Catherine (Lancaster University); Scott, Douglas (University of Oxford); Thuc, Duc Le (Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences)
    Abstract: We exploit the extensive job loss associated with the devastating fourth wave of COVID-19 in Vietnam to examine the impact of unemployment on young people's experiences of anxiety and depression. Using data from a longitudinal study with individual and survey-wave fixed effects, we show that job loss significantly increases levels of anxiety, but not depression. Specifically, job loss leads to a 5.9 percentage point increase in the probability of experiencing symptoms consistent with either mild or severe anxiety, almost doubling the pre-wave baseline. This effect is driven by individuals in the top earnings tercile who no longer live in their natal household - suggesting that the impact of job loss on anxiety is most acute among young people who are under pressure as the primary earners in their household. Perceived financial strain and food insecurity explain up to 22% of the estimated increase in anxiety. Our results support expanding mental health programmes to explicitly target young adults who have lost their job.
    Keywords: mental health, job loss, Vietnam, COVID-19
    JEL: J6 I1 I3
    Date: 2022–08
  9. By: Christopher F. Baum (Boston College); Hailee Schuele (Boston College); Philip J. Landrigan (Boston College); Summer Sherburne Hawkins (Boston College)
    Abstract: Despite mounting evidence on the health effects of natural gas development (NGD), including hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), existing research has been constrained to high-producing states, limiting generalizability. We examined the impacts of prenatal exposure to NGD production activity in all gas-producing US states on birth outcomes overall and by race/ethnicity. Mata routines were developed to link 185,376 NGD production facilities in 28 US states and their distance-weighted monthly output with county population centroids via geocoding. These data were then merged with 2005–2018 county-level microdata natality files on 33,849,409 singleton births from 1,984 counties in 28 states, using nine-month county-level averages of NGD production by both conventional and unconventional production methods, based on month/year of birth. Linear regression models were estimated to examine the impact of prenatal exposure to NGD production activity on birth weight and gestational age, while logistic regression models were used for the dichotomous outcomes of low birth weight (LBW), preterm birth, and small for gestational age (SGA). Overall, prenatal exposure to NGD production activity increased adverse birth outcomes. We found that a 10% increase in NGD production in a county decreased mean birth weight by 1.48 grams. A significant interaction by race/ethnicity revealed that a 10% increase in NGD production decreased birth weight for infants born to Black women by 10.19 grams and Asian women by 2.76 grams, with no significant reductions in birth weight for infants born to women from other racial/ethnic groups. Although effect sizes were small, results were highly consistent. NGD production decreases infant birth weight, particularly for those born to minoritized mothers.
    Date: 2022–09–10
  10. By: Barron, Kai (WZB Berlin); Bradshaw, Debbie (SAMRC and University of Cape Town); Parry, Charles D. H. (SAMRC and Stellenbosch University); Dorrington, Rob (University of Cape Town); Groenewald, Pam (SAMRC); Laubscher, Ria (SAMRC); Matzopoulos, Richard (SAMRC and University of Cape Town)
    Abstract: On July 13, 2020 a complete nation-wide ban was placed on the sale and transport of alcohol in South Africa. This paper evaluates the impact of this sudden and unexpected five-week alcohol prohibition on mortality due to unnatural causes. We find that the policy reduced the number of unnatural deaths by 21 per day, or approximately 740 over the five-week period. This constitutes a 14% decrease in the total number of deaths due to unnatural causes. We argue that this represents a lower bound on the impact of alcohol on short-run mortality, and underscores the severe influence that alcohol has on society—even in the short-run.
    Keywords: alcohol; mortality; economics; health; South Africa; COVID-19; violence;
    JEL: I18 I12 K42
    Date: 2021–01–21
  11. By: Dangel, Alexander; Goeschl, Timo
    Abstract: We study an air quality alert program that informs the public of high ambient air pollution levels and broadcasts a Don't Drive Appeal (DDA) to encourage motorists not to drive on poor air quality days. We use fixed effects panel models and a rigorous sub-sampling method to analyze 28 months of traffic data from Stuttgart, Germany and evaluate whether DDAs reduce driving. We find DDAs inadvertently increase driving by up to 2% in Greater Stuttgart. This overall effect is driven by heightened weekend and periphery traffic during DDAs. Notably, DDAs successfully reduce city center traffic on some weekdays and for the first five days of DDA events. However, estimated traffic reductions never exceed 5% of daily traffic flows, suggesting that high switching costs and dynamic norm factors may deter most motorists from choosing the DDA's desired response. These results provide cautionary evidence about implementing DDAs to reduce driving.
    Keywords: information-based regulation; voluntary policies; air quality alerts; prosocial behavior; transportation choice
    Date: 2022–09–16
  12. By: Vitaly Radsky; Thurston Domina; Leah R. Clark; Renuka Bhaskar
    Abstract: We investigate the effect of the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) of the National School Lunch Program on student suspension rates. CEP allows high-poverty schools to offer free meals to all students regardless of their family’s household income. We conceptualize CEP as a strategy to alleviate well-documented stigma associated with school meals. As such, we hypothesize that CEP implementation will reduce the incidence of suspensions, particularly for students from low-income backgrounds and minoritized racial and ethnic groups. We construct a unique panel dataset that links educational records for K-12 students enrolled in Oregon public schools between 2010 and 2017 with rich administrative data records describing their families’ household income and social safety net program participation. Difference-in-difference analyses indicate that CEP implementation has a measurable protective effect on suspension rates in participating schools. These effects are pronounced for students from low-income families and Hispanic students.
    Keywords: Community Eligibility Program; School Discipline; School Lunch.
    JEL: I21 I24 I28 I32
    Date: 2022–07
  13. By: Shahjahan, Md (University of South Florida); La Mattina, Giulia (University of South Florida); Ayyagari, Padmaja (University of South Florida)
    Abstract: Vaccine-preventable diseases remain a significant public health concern in Bangladesh. We examine the role of maternal education in improving immunization rates among Bangladeshi children. We exploit the 1994 Female Secondary School Stipend Program (FSSSP), which significantly increased education among rural girls, to identify causal effects. Applying a difference-in-differences model based on differential exposure to FSSSP by birth cohort and rural residence, we find that full immunization rates increased by 5.5 percent among children of mothers eligible for a stipend for 5 years relative to children of mothers who were not eligible, but there were no significant effects for children of mothers eligible for a stipend for only 2 years. Results from event study specifications and placebo tests support a causal interpretation of the impact of maternal education on child immunization.
    Keywords: maternal education, school stipend program, child immunization, Bangladesh
    JEL: H52 I12 J13 O12
    Date: 2022–09
  14. By: Alison Preston (Business School, The University of Western Australia)
    Abstract: Using micro-data from the 2020 Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey for a large nationally representative sample of adults aged 18-64, this paper examines the factors associated with the early withdrawal of retirement savings as a result of the coronavirus. Logistic regressions show that early withdrawal behaviour was in response to financial needs with the likelihood of making a withdrawal higher amongst the young, those classified as financially fragile, precariously employed, the unemployed, lone parents with dependent children, persons experiencing poor health and those with poor financial literacy. The results raise questions about the design of early release schemes and the objectives of the Australian retirement income system, including equity outcomes in retirement. Policy suggestions are discussed, including a call for suitable data for monitoring purposes. It is too early to assess the long-term effects of recent behaviour under the ERS.
    Keywords: Retirement savings, early withdrawal, COVID-19, financial fragility, financial literacy, casual employment, gender
    Date: 2022
  15. By: David J. Haw; Christian Morgenstern; Giovanni Forchini; Robert Johnson; Patrick Doohan; Peter C. Smith; Katharina D. Hauck
    Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic and the mitigation policies implemented in response to it have resulted in economic losses worldwide. Attempts to understand the relationship between economics and epidemiology has lead to a new generation of integrated mathematical models. The data needs for these models transcend those of the individual fields, especially where human interaction patterns are closely linked with economic activity. In this article, we reflect upon modelling efforts to date, discussing the data needs that they have identified, both for understanding the consequences of the pandemic and policy responses to it through analysis of historic data and for the further development of this new and exciting interdisciplinary field.
    Date: 2022–09
  16. By: Luca Henkel (Department of Economics, University of Bonn, Germany); Philipp Sprengholz (Media and Communication Science, University of Erfurt, Germany; Health Communication, Implementation Science, Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine, Hamburg, Germany); Lars Korn (Media and Communication Science, University of Erfurt, Germany; Health Communication, Implementation Science, Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine, Hamburg, Germany; Center for Empirical Research in Economics and Behavioral Sciences, University of Erfurt, Germany); Cornelia Betsch (Media and Communication Science, University of Erfurt, Germany; Health Communication, Implementation Science, Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine, Hamburg, Germany; Center for Empirical Research in Economics and Behavioral Sciences, University of Erfurt, Germany); Robert Böhm (Faculty of Psychology, University of Vienna, Austria; Department of Psychology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark; Copenhagen Center for Social Data Science, University of Copenhagen, Denmark)
    Abstract: Public discord between those vaccinated and those unvaccinated for COVID-19 has intensified globally. Theories of intergroup relations propose that identifying with one’s social group plays a key role in the perceptions and behaviors that fuel intergroup conflict. We test whether identification with one’s vaccination status is associated with current societal polarization. The study draws on panel data from samples of vaccinated (n = 3,267) and unvaccinated (n = 2,038) respondents in Germany and Austria that were collected in December 2021, February, March, and July 2022. The findings confirm that vaccination status identification (VSI) explains substantial variance in a range of polarizing attitudes and behaviors. VSI was also related to higher psychological reactance toward mandatory vaccination policies among the unvaccinated. Higher levels of VSI reduced the gap between intended and actual counter-behaviors over time by the unvaccinated. VSI appears to be an important measure for predicting behavioral responses to vaccination policies.
    Keywords: Vaccination, Identification, Discrimination, Mandates, COVID-19
    JEL: D91
    Date: 2022–09
  17. By: Shigeru Matsumoto; Thunehiro Otsuki
    Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has had far-reaching consequences in our daily lives. After the pandemic, we were forced to stay at home, which significantly impacted food consumption behavior. People reduced their consumption of food-away-from-home (FAFH) but increased their consumption of food-at-home (FAH) and food delivery services (FDS). This study aims to demonstrate how food consumption behavior has changed after the COVID-19 outbreak. For this purpose, we analyze the household spending panel data obtained from Macromill, Inc. The data set includes biweekly food spending data from 1,448 households living in Tokyo, Tokai, and Kinki areas. Using the data, we compare household food spending for FAFH, FAH, and FDS before and after the COVID-19 outbreak. Although people shifted from FAFH to FAH and FDS on average following the COVID-19 outbreak, the intensity of the shift varies between sampling periods. Empirical results show that during the state of emergency (the first wave), the average household decreased FAFH expenditure by about 2% year-on-year but increased FDS expenditure by about 1.3%. We further investigate how the intensity of the transition from FAFH to FAH varies across households. Both single-person and single-parent households continued to rely on FAFH after the pandemic, whereas households with parents and children shifted more aggressively from FAFH to FAH than remaining households. These findings suggest that even during the COVID-19 pandemic, households with severe time constraints (single-person households and single-parent households) could not allocate time for meal preparation.
    Date: 2022–09
  18. By: Chad P. Bown (Peterson Institute for International Economics)
    Abstract: Cross-border supply chains and international trade enabled the manufacturing and delivery of billions of vaccine doses to inoculate the world against COVID-19. At the same time, the pandemic revealed how the World Trade Organization (WTO) must change to become more useful in the face of a public health emergency. This paper describes the market failures--especially on the supply side--justifying the domestic subsidies and contracting arrangements used to accelerate vaccine research and development and to increase the scale of vaccine production to save lives, livelihoods, and economic activity during a pandemic. It highlights tradeoffs associated with the US subsidies and the priority-rated contracts written through the Defense Production Act under Operation Warp Speed. This case study reveals a rich environment in which cross-border supply chains exacerbate input shortages in ways that constrain vaccine production, highlighting the need for the WTO to embrace new forms of international policy coordination for pandemic preparedness and response. As part of a pandemic treaty, the paper proposes a plurilateral agreement on vaccine supply chain resilience that would include novel and enforceable disciplines for export restrictions, provisions to trigger coordinated subsidies across countries to jointly scale up vaccine output- and input-production capacity, and market surveillance initiatives on supply chain transparency.
    Keywords: WTO, Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures, export restrictions, advance market commitments, COVID-19 vaccines, input shortages, Defense Production Act, priority-rated contracts, pandemic treaty
    JEL: F13
    Date: 2022–09
  19. By: Fetzer, T.; Rauh, C.
    Abstract: COVID-19 drastically increased demand- and supply pressures faced by healthcare systems. Increased pressures may have negative spillovers into non COVID-19 care which can cause preventable excess deaths among patients seeking medical help for reasons unrelated to COVID-19. This paper finds substantial and robust evidence of such non COVID-19 excess deaths among hospital patients leveraging data from an integrated public healthcare system: the NHS in England. We find that there is at least one additional preventable death among hospital patients seeking medical help for reasons unrelated to COVID-19 for every 30 deaths that can be linked to COVID-19. In aggregate, there were 4,003 such excess deaths during the first twelve months of the pandemic. At the healthcare provider level, the increase in non COVID-19 excess deaths is sharply increasing in COVID-19 induced pressures on hospitals.
    Keywords: congestion effects, COVID-19, excess mortality, externalities, pandemic, public health
    Date: 2022–09–09
  20. By: Sara Colella (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); Frédéric Dufourt (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); Vincent A Hildebrand (York University [Toronto], Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto); Rémi Vivès (York University [Toronto])
    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. During the first COVID-19 lockdown, our indicator did not reveal a statistically significant mental health response, while the second lockdown triggered a sharp and persistent deterioration in all three emotions. In addition, DID and event study estimates show a more severe mental health deterioration among women and younger users during the second lockdown. Our results suggest that successive stay-at-home orders significantly worsen mental health across a large segment of the population.
    Keywords: COVID-19,lockdown,mental health,Twitter data,well-being
    Date: 2022–07–27
  21. By: Gopi Shah Goda; Evan J. Soltas
    Abstract: We show that Covid-19 illnesses persistently reduce labor supply. Using an event study, we estimate that workers with week-long Covid-19 work absences are 7 percentage points less likely to be in the labor force one year later compared to otherwise-similar workers who do not miss a week of work for health reasons. Our estimates suggest Covid-19 illnesses have reduced the U.S. labor force by approximately 500,000 people (0.2 percent of adults) and imply an average forgone earnings per Covid-19 absence of at least $9,000, about 90 percent of which reflects lost labor supply beyond the initial absence week.
    JEL: I12 J17 J21 J22
    Date: 2022–09
  22. By: Adena, Maja (WZB Berlin); Harke, Julian (WZB Berlin)
    Abstract: Has the COVID-19 pandemic affected pro-sociality among individuals? After the onset of the pandemic, many charitable appeals were updated to include a reference to COVID-19. Did donors increase their giving in response to such changes? In order to answer these questions, we conducted a real-donation online experiment with more than 4,200 participants from 149 local areas in England and over 21 weeks. First, we varied the fundraising appeal to either include or exclude a reference to COVID-19. We found that including the reference to COVID-19 in the appeal increased donations. Second, in a natural experiment- like approach, we studied how the relative local severity of the pandemic and media coverage about local COVID-19 severity affected giving in our experiment. We found that both higher local severity and more related articles increased giving of participants in the respective areas. This holds for different specifications, including specifications with location fixed effects, time fixed effects, a broad set of individual characteristics to account for a potentially changing composition of the sample over time and to account for health- and work-related experiences with and expectations regarding the pandemic. While negative experiences with COVID-19 correlate negatively with giving, both approaches led us to conclude that the pure effect of increased salience of the pandemic on pro-sociality is positive. Despite the shift in public attention toward the domestic fight against the pandemic and away from developing countries’ challenges, we found that preferences did not shift toward giving more to a national project and less to developing countries.
    Keywords: COVID-19; charitable giving; online experiments; natural experiments;
    JEL: C93 D64 D12
    Date: 2022–02–18
  23. By: Alfredo Burlando; Pradeep Chintagunta; Jessica Goldberg; Melissa Graboyes; Peter Hangoma; Dean Karlan; Mario Macis; Silvia Prina
    Abstract: We replicate the test of a theoretical framework put forward and tested by Goldberg et al. (2022) on financial incentives to send peers information about health behaviors. The study we replicate validated the theory in the context of tuberculosis testing in India. We adapt the intervention to preventative COVID-19-related behaviors in Zambia. Similar to the India study, individuals respond favorably to the suggestion to pass messages to peers; however, unlike in India, financial incentives neither generate further passing of messages nor cause changes in health behaviors. We discuss the contextual differences that may explain why key results failed to replicate.
    JEL: H0 I0 O10
    Date: 2022–09
  24. By: Darija Barak; Edoardo Gallo; Alastair Langtry
    Abstract: Contact tracing and quarantine programs have been one of the leading Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions against COVID-19. Some governments have relied on mandatory programs, whereas others embrace a voluntary approach. However, there is limited evidence on the relative effectiveness of these different approaches. In an interactive online experiment conducted on 731 subjects representative of the adult US population in terms of sex and region of residence, we find there is a clear ranking. A fully mandatory program is better than an optional one, and an optional system is better than no intervention at all. The ranking is driven by reductions in infections, while economic activity stays unchanged. We also find that political conservatives have higher infections and levels of economic activity, and they are less likely to participate in the contact tracing program.
    Date: 2022–09

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