Economic Analysis Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic
Research Associate Andrew Atkeson of UCLA explored the effectiveness of social distancing as an anti-COVID-19 strategy at the NBER's annual Corporate Associates Seminar last week.
Nine new NBER working papers distributed this week provide new insights on the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and on trade-offs involved in policies to address it. Several studies examine the effect of the pandemic, and various mitigation policies such as partial shut-down of the economy, on aggregate economic activity (27099, 27100, 27102). Other research presents new evidence on the differential effects across households of shelter-in-place rules (27091), the types of firms that received support under the Paycheck Protection Program (27095), the labor market effects of social distancing policies (27085), and the response of household spending to pandemic-related economic dislocation (27097). One new study examines public perceptions of the crisis and policy responses in many countries (27082), while another documents the change in air quality in China上下棋牌’s Hubei province associated with the recent shutdown of much economic activity (27086).
NBER working papers are circulated for discussion and comment purposes; they have not been peer-reviewed. The papers mentioned above, other recent NBER studies of the impact of coronavirus containment efforts, as well as several earlier studies of the economic and other consequences of pandemics, are available here.
Concern that severely restricting individuals’ mobility impinges on their freedom and privacy make it imperative that policymakers know the effectiveness of such restrictions. A study featured in the new edition of The NBER Digest finds that had Wuhan, China上下棋牌, where COVID-19 first struck, not been locked down on January 23, 65 percent more cases of the virus would have occurred in the 347 Chinese cities outside the province in which Wuhan is located. Also featured in this issue of the free monthly Digest are studies of the 1918–20 influenza pandemic, the bank panics that contributed to the Great Depression, the effect of having female colleagues on male judges’ hiring of clerks, the beneficiaries of a huge New York transit project, and the impacts of Napoleonic copyright laws on Italian opera.
A study in the spring issue of the Bulletin on Health examines the impact of a diabetes diagnosis on patients just above the threshold for being considered diabetic. The researchers find that a diabetes diagnosis is associated with a rise in types of health care that are typically recommended for diabetics as well as an increase in diagnoses of complications of diabetes. They also observe short-term improvements in blood sugar among newly diagnosed patients and note that, although those did not persist, further health improvements may emerge over a longer time horizon. Also featured in this issue of the free Bulletin on Health are summaries of a study of how Medicare eligibility impacts cancer outcomes, a study of how an informational letter about the tax penalty for lacking health insurance affected subsequent insurance coverage and mortality, and a profile of NBER research associate Adriana Lleras-Muney.
Digitizing travel guides (“Green Books”) used by African Americans before the Civil Rights Act to find public accommodations that would serve them, Lisa D. Cook, Maggie E.C. Jones, David Rosé, and Trevon D. Logan find that the largest number of Green Book establishments was in the Northeast. The lowest number was in the West.
Decades after reunification, East Germans invest significantly less in the stock market than West Germans, are more likely to hold stocks of companies from communist countries and of state-owned companies, and are unlikely to invest in American companies and the financial industry, Christine Laudenbach, Ulrike Malmendier, and Alexandra Niessen-Ruenzi show.
Individuals with lower levels of education report more musculoskeletal pain than individuals with more education, according to a study summarized in the current issue of the free Bulletin on Retirement and Disability The research focuses on variation in knee pain by education level and finds that high school graduates and dropouts report higher levels of knee pain than college graduates, with possible factors including higher rates of obesity, more physically demanding jobs, and psychological differences. Also featured in this issue are an exploration of trends in work and disability application among people with mental illness, a study of the drivers of opioid abuse, and a joint Q&A with NBER research associates Richard Frank and Ellen Meara of Harvard University, on the topic of Social Security Disability Insurance applications.
While at any single point in time the probability of a war, pandemic, or financial crash occurring is low, nonetheless, they do occur eventually. Research featured in the current edition of the NBER Reporter explores markets’ reactions before and after such rare events take place. Also in this edition of the free quarterly Reporter, NBER affiliates write about their investigations of the impact of land systems and misallocation on agricultural productivity, the role of the firm in explaining the structure and evolution of wages and worker risk, and the benefits of rehabilitative incarceration of criminals, and importance of barriers to take-up of government initiatives.
New NBER affiliates are appointed through a highly competitive process that begins with a call for nominations in January. Candidates are evaluated based on their research records and their capacity to contribute to the NBER's activities by program directors and steering committees. New affiliates must hold primary academic appointments in North America. On January 1, 上下棋牌, there were 1,581 NBER-affiliated researchers based at 180 institutions.