1,101 Matching Annotations
  1. Oct 2020
    1. Nikolov, P., Pape, A., Tonguc, O., & Williams, C. (2020). Predictors of Social Distancing and Mask-Wearing Behavior: Panel Survey in Seven U.S. States. IZA Discussion Paper, 13745.

    2. IZA – Institute of Labor Economics. ‘COVID-19 and the Labor Market’. Accessed 6 October 2020. https://covid-19.iza.org/publications/dp13745/.

    3. 2020-09

    4. This paper presents preliminary summary results from a longitudinal study of participants in seven U.S. states during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to standard socio-economic characteristics, we collect data on various economic preference parameters: time, risk, and social preferences, and risk perception biases. We pay special attention to predictors that are both important drivers of social distancing and are potentially malleable and susceptible to policy levers. We note three important findings: (1) demographic characteristics exert the largest influence on social distancing measures and mask-wearing, (2) we show that individual risk perception and cognitive biases exert a critical role in influencing the decision to adopt social distancing measures, (3) we identify important demographic groups that are most susceptible to changing their social distancing behaviors. These findings can help inform the design of policy interventions regarding targeting specific demographic groups, which can help reduce the transmission speed of the COVID-19 virus.
    5. 13745
    6. Predictors of Social Distancing and Mask-Wearing Behavior: Panel Survey in Seven U.S. States
    1. Atalay, K., Edwards, R., Schurer, S., & Ubilava, D. (2020). Lives Saved during Economic Downturns: Evidence from Australia. IZA Discussion Paper, 13742.

    2. IZA – Institute of Labor Economics. ‘COVID-19 and the Labor Market’. Accessed 6 October 2020. https://covid-19.iza.org/publications/dp13742/.

    3. 2020-09

    4. Worldwide, countries have been restricting work and social activities to counter an emerging public health crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic. These measures have caused dramatic increases in unemployment in the short run, with an expected deepening of the recession in the long run. Some commentators argue that the “draconian measures” will do more harm than good due to the economic contraction, despite a large literature that finds mortality rates decline during recessions. We estimate the relationship between unemployment, a widely accepted proxy for economic climate, and mortality in Australia, a country with universal health care. Using administrative time-series data on mortality that varies by state, age, sex, and cause of death collected for the years 1979-2017, we find no relationship between unemployment and mortality on average. However, we observe beneficial health effects in economic downturns for young men aged 25 to 34 associated with a reduction in vehicle transport accidents. Our estimates imply 425 fewer deaths if Reserve Bank of Australia expectations of a doubling of unemployment rates are realized by the end of 2020. For the early 1980s, we also find a procyclical pattern in the mortality rates of infants. However, this pattern disappears starting from the mid-1980s, coincident with the full implementation of universal health care in Australia in 1984. Our results suggest that universal health care may insulate individuals from the health effects of macroeconomic fluctuations. We conclude that the economic recession is an unlikely mediator for pandemic-related deaths in Australia.
    5. 13742
    6. Lives Saved during Economic Downturns: Evidence from Australia
    1. Gottlieb, C., Grobovšek, J., Poschke, M., & Saltiel, F. (2020). Working From Home in Developing Countries. IZA Discussion Paper, 13737.

    2. IZA – Institute of Labor Economics. ‘COVID-19 and the Labor Market’. Accessed 6 October 2020. https://covid-19.iza.org/publications/dp13737/.

    3. 2020-09

    4. 13737
    5. We examine workers’ ability to work from home, as well as their propensity to actually work from home in developing countries. We use worker-level STEP data covering the task content of jobs to measure the ability to work from home. While the ability to WFH is low in developing countries, it exhibits significant heterogeneity across and within occupations and worker characteristics. Patterns of actual work from home in data from Brazil and Costa Rica align closely with those predicted based on STEP data, in terms of both overall levels and variation with occupation and individual characteristics.
    6. Working From Home in Developing Countries
    1. Johnston, D. W., Kung, C. S. J., & Shields, M. A. (2020). Who is Resilient in a Time of Crisis? The Importance of Financial and Non-Financial Resources. IZA Discussion Paper, 13720.

    2. IZA – Institute of Labor Economics. ‘COVID-19 and the Labor Market’. Accessed 6 October 2020. https://covid-19.iza.org/publications/dp13720/.

    3. 2020-09

    4. We identify the individual resources that predicted psychological resilience during the COVID-19 lockdown. Using UK data, we compare psychological distress observed before COVID-19 with distress measured in April, May, and June 2020. After matching respondents on key characteristics, we find that the most important predictor of resilience is non-cognitive skills, as measured by self-efficacy. Self-efficacy also reduces the psychological effects of negative earnings shocks. Neither income, wealth, cognitive ability, nor social capital predicted resilience. Our findings hold when comparing differences between household members. These findings support investments in non-cognitive skill development in order to reduce the damage-function from adverse events.
    5. 13720
    6. Who is Resilient in a Time of Crisis? The Importance of Financial and Non-Financial Resources
    1. Miaari, S. H., Sabbah-Karkabi, M., & Loewenthal, A. (2020). How Is the COVID-19 Crisis Exacerbating Socioeconomic Inequality among Palestinians in Israel?. IZA Discussion Paper, 13716.

    2. IZA – Institute of Labor Economics. ‘COVID-19 and the Labor Market’. Accessed 6 October 2020. https://covid-19.iza.org/publications/dp13716/.

    3. 2020-09

    4. The paper gives us a first look on the unique effects of the crisis on the Arab minority in Israel. It contributes to our understanding on how economic and epidemic crises affect marginalized ethnic minorities and informs decision makers while formulating policies to deal with the crisis’s consequences. The results of the paper show significant differences between how this minority group was affected by the crisis compared to the majority-Jewish population. Two months into the crisis, there was no significant difference between the employment rate of low and middle-paid Arab workers, who both suffered employment decreases, but in similar rates. This result is contrary to Jewish workers, where the more workers were paid before the crisis, the more likely they were to remain employed. The research is based on a unique survey conducted during the months of April and May, intended the first wave of a panel survey conducted every 3 months during the coming two years.
    5. 13716
    6. How Is the COVID-19 Crisis Exacerbating Socioeconomic Inequality among Palestinians in Israel?
    1. Ahn, S., Kim, S., & Koh, K. (2020). Changes in Healthcare Utilization, Spending, and Perceived Health during COVID–19: A Longitudinal Study from Singapore. IZA Discussion Paper, 13715.

    2. IZA – Institute of Labor Economics. ‘COVID-19 and the Labor Market’. Accessed 6 October 2020. https://covid-19.iza.org/publications/dp13715/.

    3. 2020-09

    4. The COVID–19 pandemic has challenged the capacity of healthcare systems around the world and can potentially compromise healthcare utilization and health outcomes among non-COVID–19 patients. Using monthly panel data of nationally representative middle-aged and older Singaporeans, we examined the associations of the pandemic with healthcare utilization, out-of-pocket medical costs, and perceived health. At its peak, doctor visits decreased by 30% and out-of-pocket medical spending decreased by 23%, mostly driven by reductions in inpatient and outpatient care. Although there were little changes in self-reported health and sleep quality, COVID–19 increased depressive symptoms by 4%. We argue that it is imperative to monitor COVID–19’s long-term health effects among non-COVID–19 patients since our findings indicated delayed healthcare and worsened mental health during the outbreak.
    5. 13715
    6. Changes in Healthcare Utilization, Spending, and Perceived Health during COVID–19: A Longitudinal Study from Singapore
    1. Fairlie, R. (2020). The Impact of COVID-19 on Small Business Owners: The First Three Months after Social-Distancing Restrictions. IZA Discussion Paper, 13707.

    2. IZA – Institute of Labor Economics. ‘COVID-19 and the Labor Market’. Accessed 6 October 2020. https://covid-19.iza.org/publications/dp13707/.

    3. 2020-09

    4. Social distancing restrictions and health- and economic-driven demand shifts from COVID-19 are expected to shutter many small businesses and entrepreneurial ventures, but there is very little early evidence on impacts. This paper provides the first analysis of impacts of the pandemic on the number of active small businesses in the United States using nationally representative data from the April 2020 CPS – the first month fully capturing early effects. The number of active business owners in the United States plummeted by 3.3 million or 22 percent over the crucial two-month window from February to April 2020. The drop in active business owners was the largest on record, and losses to business activity were felt across nearly all industries. African-American businesses were hit especially hard experiencing a 41 percent drop in business activity. Latinx business owner activity fell by 32 percent, and Asian business owner activity dropped by 26 percent. Simulations indicate that industry compositions partly placed these groups at a higher risk of business activity losses. Immigrant business owners experienced substantial losses in business activity of 36 percent. Female business owners were also disproportionately affected (25 percent drop in business activity). Continuing the analysis in May and June, the number of active business owners remained low – down by 15 percent and 8 percent, respectively. The continued losses in May and June, and partial rebounds from April were felt across all demographic groups and most industries. These findings of early-stage losses to small business activity have important implications for policy, income losses, and future economic inequality.
    5. 13707
    6. The Impact of COVID-19 on Small Business Owners: The First Three Months after Social-Distancing Restrictions
    1. Amuedo-Dorantes, C., Kaushal, N., & Muchow, A. N. (2020). Is the Cure Worse than the Disease? County-Level Evidence from the COVID-19 Pandemic in the United States. IZA Discussion Paper, 13695.

    2. IZA – Institute of Labor Economics. ‘COVID-19 and the Labor Market’. Accessed 6 October 2020. https://covid-19.iza.org/publications/dp13696/.

    3. 2020-09

    4. Using county-level data on COVID-19 mortality and infections, along with county-level information on the adoption of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) in the United States, we examine how the speed of NPI adoption affected COVID-19 mortality. Our estimates suggest that advancing the date of NPI adoption by one day lowers the COVID-19 death rate by 2.4 percent. This finding proves robust to alternative measures of NPI adoption speed, model specifications that control for testing and mobility, and across various samples: national, restricted to the Northeast region, excluding New York, and excluding the Northeast region. We also find that the adoption speed of NPIs is associated with lower infections, as well as lower non-COVID mortality, suggesting that these measures slowed contagion and the pace at which the healthcare system might have been overburdened by the pandemic. Finally, NPI adoption speed appears to have been less relevant in Republican counties, suggesting that political ideology might have compromised their efficiency.
    5. 13695
    6. Is the Cure Worse than the Disease? County-Level Evidence from the COVID-19 Pandemic in the United States
    1. Krekel, C., Swanke, S., De Neve, J., & Fancourt, D. (2020). Are Happier People More Compliant? Global Evidence From Three Large-Scale Surveys During Covid-19 Lockdowns. IZA Discussion Paper, 13690.

    2. IZA – Institute of Labor Economics. ‘COVID-19 and the Labor Market’. Accessed 6 October 2020. https://covid-19.iza.org/publications/dp13690/.

    3. 2020-09

    4. Around the world, governments have been asking their citizens to practice physical distancing and stay at home to contain the spread of Covid-19. Are happier people more willing to comply with these measures? Using three independent surveys covering over 119,000 adult respondents across 35 countries, including longitudinal data from the UK, we test competing psychological theories, and find that past and present happiness predicts compliance during lockdown. The relationship is stronger for those with higher levels of happiness. A negative mood, or loss in happiness, predicts lower compliance. We explore risk-avoidance and pro-social motivations for compliance, and find that these are not uniform but dependent on personal characteristics and context: people who are older or have certain medical preconditions seem to be predominantly motivated by risk-avoidance, whereas motivations of people who are less at risk of Covid-19 seem more mixed. Our findings have implications for policy design, targeting, and communication.
    5. 13690
    6. Are Happier People More Compliant? Global Evidence From Three Large-Scale Surveys During Covid-19 Lockdowns
    1. Fenoll, A. A., & Grossbard, S. (2020). Are COVID Fatalities in the US Higher Than in the EU, and If So, Why?. IZA Discussion Paper, 13683.

    2. IZA – Institute of Labor Economics. ‘COVID-19 and the Labor Market’. Accessed 6 October 2020. https://covid-19.iza.org/publications/dp13683/.

    3. 2020-09

    4. The COVID crisis has severely hit both the United States and the European Union. Even though they are the wealthiest regions in the world, they differ substantially in economic performance, demographic characteristics, type of government, health systems, and measures undertaken to counteract COVID. We construct comparable measures of the incidence of the COVID crisis and find that US states had more COVID-related deaths than EU countries. When taking account of demographic, economic, and political factors (but not health-policy related factors) we find that fatalities at 100 days since onset are 1.3 % higher in a US state than in an EU country. The US/EU gap disappears when we take account of health-policy related factors. Differences in number of beds per capita, number of tests, and early lockdown measures help explain the higher impact of COVID on US fatalities measured either 50 or 100 days after the epidemic started in a nation/state.
    5. 13683
    6. Are COVID Fatalities in the US Higher Than in the EU, and If So, Why?
    1. Hassink, W. H. J., Kalb, G., & Meekes, J. (2020). The Dutch Labour Market Early on in the COVID-19 Outbreak: Regional Coronavirus Hotspots and the National Lockdown. IZA Discussion Paper, 13673.

    2. IZA – Institute of Labor Economics. ‘COVID-19 and the Labor Market’. Accessed 6 October 2020. https://covid-19.iza.org/publications/dp13673/.

    3. 2020-09

    4. We explore the impact of COVID-19 hotspots and regional lockdowns on the Dutch labour market. Using weekly administrative panel microdata for 50 per cent of Dutch employees until the end of March 2020, we study whether individual labour market outcomes, as measured by employment, working hours and hourly wages, were more strongly affected in provinces where COVID-19 confirmed cases, hospitalizations and mortality were relatively high. We do not observe a region-specific impact of COVID-19 on labour market outcomes. The results suggest individual characteristics are more important, including the employee’s age, type of contract and type of job. The evidence suggests that the decline of the labour market was all due to the impacts from the government-enforced lockdown and higher virus case numbers did not reinforce this decline. This suggests that preventive health measures should be at the regional level, isolating hotspots from low-risk areas.
    5. 13673
    6. The Dutch Labour Market Early on in the COVID-19 Outbreak: Regional Coronavirus Hotspots and the National Lockdown
    1. Dave, D., Friedson, A. I., McNichols, D., & Sabia, J. J. (2020). The Contagion Externality of a Superspreading Event: The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and COVID-19. IZA Discussion Paper, 13670.

    2. IZA – Institute of Labor Economics. ‘COVID-19 and the Labor Market’. Accessed 6 October 2020. https://covid-19.iza.org/publications/dp13670/.

    3. 2020-09

    4. Large in-person gatherings without social distancing and with individuals who have traveled outside the local area are classified as the “highest risk” for COVID-19 spread by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Between August 7 and August 16, 2020, nearly 500,000 motorcycle enthusiasts converged on Sturgis, South Dakota for its annual motorcycle rally. Large crowds, coupled with minimal mask-wearing and social distancing by attendees, raised concerns that this event could serve as a COVID-19 “super-spreader.” This study is the first to explore the impact of this event on social distancing and the spread of COVID-19. First, using anonymized cell phone data from SafeGraph, Inc. we document that (i) smartphone pings from non-residents, and (ii) foot traffic at restaurants and bars, retail establishments, entertainment venues, hotels and campgrounds each rose substantially in the census block groups hosting Sturgis rally events. Stay-at-home behavior among local residents, as measured by median hours spent at home, fell. Second, using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and a synthetic control approach, we show that by September 2, a month following the onset of the Rally, COVID-19 cases increased by approximately 6 to 7 cases per 1,000 population in its home county of Meade. Finally, difference-in-differences (dose response) estimates show that following the Sturgis event, counties that contributed the highest inflows of rally attendees experienced a 7.0 to 12.5 percent increase in COVID-19 cases relative to counties that did not contribute inflows. Descriptive evidence suggests these effects may be muted in states with stricter mitigation policies (i.e., restrictions on bar/restaurant openings, mask-wearing mandates). We conclude that the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally generated public health costs of approximately $12.2 billion.
    5. 13670
    6. The Contagion Externality of a Superspreading Event: The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and COVID-19
    1. Banerjee, R., & Majumdar, P. (2020). Exponential Growth Bias in the Prediction of COVID-19 Spread and Economic Expectation. IZA Discussion Paper, 13664.

    2. IZA – Institute of Labor Economics. ‘COVID-19 and the Labor Market’. Accessed 6 October 2020. https://covid-19.iza.org/publications/dp13664/.

    3. 2020-09

    4. 13664
    5. Exponential growth bias (EGB) is the pervasive tendency of people to perceive a growth process as linear when, in fact, it is exponential. In this paper, we document that people exhibit EGB when asked to predict the number of COVID-19 positive cases in the future. The bias is positively correlated with optimistic expectations about the future macroeconomic conditions and personal economic circumstances, and investment in a risky asset. We design four interventions to correct EGB and evaluate them through a randomized experiment. In the first treatment (Step), participants make predictions in several short steps; in the second and third treatments (Feedback-N and Feedback-G) participants are given feedback about their prediction errors either in the form of numbers or graphs; and in the fourth treatment (Forecast), participants are offered a forecast range of the future number of cases, based on a statistical model. Our results show that a) Step helps mitigate EGB relative to Baseline, b) Feedback-N, Feedback-G, and Forecast significantly reduce bias relative to both Baseline and Step, c) the interventions decrease risky investment and help moderate future economic expectations through the reduction in EGB. The results suggest that nudges, such as behaviorally informed communication strategies, which correct EGB can also help rationalize economic expectations.
    6. Exponential Growth Bias in the Prediction of COVID-19 Spread and Economic Expectation
    1. IZA – Institute of Labor Economics. ‘COVID-19 and the Labor Market’. Accessed 6 October 2020. https://covid-19.iza.org/publications/dp13651/.

    2. Dang, H. H., & Trinh, T. (2020). The Beneficial Impacts of COVID-19 Lockdowns on Air Pollution: Evidence from Vietnam. IZA Discussion Paper, 13651.

    3. 2020-09

    4. 13651
    5. Little evidence currently exists on the effects of COVID-19 on air quality in poorer countries, where most air pollution-linked deaths occur. We offer the first study that examines the pandemic’s impacts on improving air quality in Vietnam, a lower-middle income country with worsening air pollution. Employing the Regression Discontinuity Design method to analyze a rich database that we compile from satellite air pollution data and data from various other sources, we find the concentration of NO2 to decrease by 24 to 32 percent two weeks after the COVID-19 lockdown. While this finding is robust to different measures of air quality and model specifications, the positive effects of the lockdown appear to dissipate after ten weeks. We also find that mobility restrictions are a potential channel for improved air quality. Finally, our back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest that two weeks after the lockdown, the economic gains from better air quality are roughly $0.6 billion US dollars.
    6. The Beneficial Impacts of COVID-19 Lockdowns on Air Pollution: Evidence from Vietnam
    1. Blau, F. D., Koebe, J., & Meyerhofer, P. A. (2020). Who are the Essential and Frontline Workers?. IZA Discussion Paper, 13650.

    2. IZA – Institute of Labor Economics. ‘COVID-19 and the Labor Market’. Accessed 6 October 2020. https://covid-19.iza.org/publications/dp13650/.

    3. 2020-08

    4. 13650
    5. Identifying essential and frontline workers and understanding their characteristics is useful for policymakers and researchers in targeting social insurance and safety net policies in response to the COVID-19 crisis. We develop a working definition that may inform additional research and policy discussion and provide data on the demographic and labor market composition of these workers. In a three-step approach, we first apply the official industry guidelines issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to microdata from the 2017 and 2018 American Community Survey to identify essential workers regardless of actual operation status of their industry. We then use data on the feasibility of work from home in the worker’s occupation group (Dingel and Neiman 2020) to identify those most likely to be frontline workers who worked in-person early in the COVID-19 crisis in March/April 2020. In a third step we exclude industries that were shutdown or running under limited demand at that time (Vavra, 2020). We find that the broader group of essential workers comprises a large share of the labor force and tends to mirror its demographic and labor market characteristics. In contrast, the narrower category of frontline workers is, on average, less educated, has lower wages, and has a higher representation of men, disadvantaged minorities, especially Hispanics, and immigrants. These results hold even when excluding industries that were shutdown or operating at a limited level.
    6. Who are the Essential and Frontline Workers?
    1. Naudé, W., & Cameron, M. (2020). Failing to Pull Together: South Africa’s Troubled Response to COVID-19. IZA Discussion Paper, 13649.

    2. IZA – Institute of Labor Economics. ‘COVID-19 and the Labor Market’. Accessed 6 October 2020. https://covid-19.iza.org/publications/dp13649/.

    3. 2020-08

    4. 13649
    5. When South Africa implemented its non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) (its “lockdown”) to stem the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, it was hailed as exemplary. By June 2020 however, the lockdown was in disarray: the number of confirmed infections continued to grow exponentially, placing the country amongst the ten most affected countries in the world, and on average eight public protest actions took place daily. Moreover, the business sector launched a campaign, supported by more than 50,000 businesses, to have government end the lockdown altogether. In this paper we argue that both government and the business sector’s responses are problematic, and that this “failing to pull together” will be costly. We provide arguments that a smart and flexible lockdown, based on data, testing, decentralization, demographics and appropriate economic support measures, including export support, can save lives, improve trust in government, limit economic damages and moreover improve long-term recovery prospects.
    6. Failing to Pull Together: South Africa’s Troubled Response to COVID-19
    1. Kouki, A., & Sauer, R. M. (2020). Child Health, Remote Work and the Female Wage Penalty. IZA Discussion Paper, 13648.

    2. IZA – Institute of Labor Economics. ‘COVID-19 and the Labor Market’. Accessed 6 October 2020. https://covid-19.iza.org/publications/dp13648/.

    3. 13648
    4. 2020-08

    5. Using data on American women and the health status of their children, this paper studies the effect of remote work on female earnings. Instrumental variables estimates, which exploit a temporary child health shock as exogenous variation in the propensity to work at home, yield an hourly wage penalty of 77.1 percent. Earnings losses together with positive selection, and alternative first stage regressions, suggest that task re-assignment or lack of social interaction are likely mechanisms. The estimates also have implications for the costs of social distancing during a pandemic and may be especially applicable when children must be temporarily quarantined.
    6. Child Health, Remote Work and the Female Wage Penalty
    1. Rodríguez-Planas, N. (2020). Hitting Where It Hurts Most: COVID-19 and Low-Income Urban College Students. IZA Discussion Paper, 13644.

    2. IZA – Institute of Labor Economics. ‘COVID-19 and the Labor Market’. Accessed 6 October 2020. https://covid-19.iza.org/publications/dp13644/.

    3. 13644
    4. 2020-08

    5. Using administrative data merged with a rich student survey collected during the summer of 2020, we document the immediate and short-term educational, financial, and personal burdens of New York city’s low-income public university students during the COVID-19 pandemic, the closing of college campuses, and the city’s shutdown. Low-income students are identified by whether they ever received the federal Pell Grant. We find that low-income college students were 8% more likely than general students at the same college to experience challenges while attending online classes during spring 2020 mostly due to higher childcare responsibilities, greater lack of internet, or greater probability of being sick or stressed. They were also 11% more likely to consider dropping a course because of concerns that their grade would jeopardize their financial assistance. Despite being 21% more likely to receive financial support from emergency relief grants and stimulus payments and unemployment benefits from the CARES Act, low-income college students have or are currently more at risk of experiencing financial distress including securing basic food needs (46% higher) and shelter (62% higher), facing job loss (15% higher), or losing their financial aid (12% higher). We identify potential mechanisms driving these results and correct for multiple hypothesis testing. Our findings underscore the need to target a variety of services and assistance towards low-income college students to secure their wellbeing and college continuity.
    6. Hitting Where It Hurts Most: COVID-19 and Low-Income Urban College Students
    1. Cortes, M., & Forsythe, E. (2020). Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic and the CARES Act on Earnings and Inequality. IZA Discussion Paper, 13643.

    2. IZA – Institute of Labor Economics. ‘COVID-19 and the Labor Market’. Accessed 6 October 2020. https://covid-19.iza.org/publications/dp13643/.

    3. 13643
    4. 2020-08

    5. Using data from the Current Population Survey (CPS), we show that the COVID-19 pandemic led to a loss of aggregate real labor earnings of more than $250 billion between March and July 2020. By exploiting the panel structure of the CPS, we show that the decline in aggregate earnings was entirely driven by declines in employment; individuals who remained employed did not experience any atypical earnings changes. We find that job losses were substantially larger among workers in low-paying jobs. This led to a dramatic increase in inequality in labor earnings during the pandemic. Simulating standard unemployment benefits and UI provisions in the CARES Act, we estimate that UI payments exceeded total pandemic earnings losses between March and July 2020 by $9 billion. Workers who were previously in the bottom third of the earnings distribution received 49% of the pandemic associated UI and CARES benefits, reversing the increases in labor earnings inequality. These lower income individuals are likely to have a high fiscal multiplier, suggesting these extra payments may have helped stimulate aggregate demand.
    6. Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic and the CARES Act on Earnings and Inequality
    1. Psacharopoulos, G., Collis, V., Patrinos, H. A., & Vegas, E. (2020). Lost Wages: The COVID-19 Cost of School Closures. IZA Discussion Paper, 13641.

    2. IZA – Institute of Labor Economics. ‘COVID-19 and the Labor Market’. Accessed 6 October 2020. https://covid-19.iza.org/publications/dp13641/.

    3. 2020-08

    4. 13641
    5. Social distancing requirements associated with COVID-19 have led to school closures. In April, 192 countries had closed all schools and universities, affecting more than 90 percent of the world’s learners: over 1.5 billion children and young people. Closures are expected to reduce schooling and lead to future losses in earnings. Starting from the assumption that every additional year of schooling translates to 8 percent in future earnings, this paper estimates and confirms the loss in marginal future earnings on the basis of a four-month shutdown. We also estimated the losses by level of education. The findings show that the school closures reduce future earnings. It is also likely that students from low-income countries will be affected most, where the earning losses will be devastating. These estimates are conservative, assuming closures end after four months, with schools re-opening in the new academic year, and that school quality will not suffer.
    6. Lost Wages: The COVID-19 Cost of School Closures
    1. Pfattheicher, Stefan, Michael Bang Petersen, and Robert Böhm. ‘Information about Herd Immunity and Empathy Promote COVID-19 Vaccination Intentions’, 30 September 2020. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/wzu6k.

    2. 2020-09-30

    3. 10.31234/osf.io/wzu6k
    4. Objective: An effective vaccine against COVID-19 is a desired solution to curb the spread of the disease. However, vaccine hesitancy might hinder high uptake rates and thus undermine efforts to eliminate COVID-19 once an effective vaccine is available. The present contribution addresses this issue by examining two promising ways of increasing the intention to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Methods: We conducted two pre-registered online studies (N = 2,315 participants from the UK) in which we either measured (Study 1) or manipulated (Study 2) knowledge about and beliefs in herd immunity, as well as empathy for those most vulnerable to the virus. As a dependent variable, we assessed individuals’ self-reported vaccination intention if a vaccine against COVID-19 became available. Results: We show that the motivation to get vaccinated against COVID-19 is related to and causally promoted by both mere information about herd immunity and by empathy. Thus, interventions that combine cognitive and affective information related to others’ potential suffering appear most effective in increasing the intention to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Conclusions: The present research provides a better understanding of the intention to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and highlights two evidence-based possibilities for policymakers in promoting vaccine uptake.
    1. 2020-07-23

    2. Yuan, Yuan, Muzhi Guan, Zhilun Zhou, Sundong Kim, Meeyoung Cha, and Yong Li. ‘Disruption in the Chinese E-Commerce During COVID-19:A Case Study of the Beidian Platform’. ArXiv:2009.14605 [Physics], 22 July 2020. http://arxiv.org/abs/2009.14605.

    3. arXiv:2009.14605v1
    4. The recent outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has infected millions of citizens worldwide and claimed many lives. This pandemic has changed human life in many ways, and the research community is putting efforts to understand these impacts in various sectors. This paper focuses on its impact on the Chinese market by analyzing the e-commerce behavioral changes seen at an online shopping platform before and during the pandemic. We present how the epidemic affected consumer behaviors via time series analysis. We find that disruptions in the supply of essential goods needed during a disaster can be leveraged for epidemic forecasting, and further design a hierarchical attention learning model to predict the newly confirmed cases. Experiment results demonstrate that our predictions outperform existing baselines, which also extends to the long-term and province-level forecasts. We believe models like ours contribute to better preparing for future epidemics by gaining extra time to launch preventive steps.
    5. Disruption in the Chinese E-Commerce During COVID-19:A Case Study of the Beidian Platform
    1. Low, Rachel S. T., Nickola Overall, Valerie Chang, and Annette M. E. Henderson. ‘Emotion Regulation and Psychological and Physical Health during a Nationwide COVID-19 Lockdown’, 1 October 2020. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/pkncy.

    2. 2020-10-01

    3. 10.31234/osf.io/pkncy
    4. The COVID-19 pandemic poses considerable challenges that threaten health and well-being. Initial data supports that many people experienced elevated psychological distress as the pandemic emerged. Yet, prior examinations of average changes in well-being fail to identify who is at greater risk for poor psychological health. The aim of the current research was to examine whether the use of different emotion regulation strategies (emotional suppression, rumination, cognitive reappraisal) predicted residual changes in psychological and physical health during a nationwide COVID-19 lockdown. We leveraged an ongoing study in which participants had reported on their psychological and physical health prior to the pandemic. Participants then reported on the same health outcomes as well as their use of emotion regulation strategies, stress and emotion control difficulties during a nationwide lockdown involving confinement in the home for 5 weeks. Accounting for pre-pandemic psychological health, greater emotional suppression and rumination predicted greater depressive symptoms, lower emotional well-being, greater limitations due to emotional problems, and poorer social functioning during the lockdown, even when controlling for the detrimental effects of stress and emotion control difficulties. Accounting for pre-pandemic physical health, greater rumination predicted greater fatigue and poorer physical health, but the amount of stress people experienced was a stronger predictor across physical health outcomes. The results validate concerns that the stress of the pandemic risks declines in psychological and physical health and identify emotional suppression and rumination as important risk factors of poor psychological health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    5. Emotion Regulation and Psychological and Physical Health during a Nationwide COVID-19 Lockdown
    1. Smillie, Luke D., Milena Katic, and Simon Laham. ‘Personality and Moral Judgment: Curious Consequentialists and Polite Deontologists (Journal of Personality)’. Preprint. PsyArXiv, 1 October 2020. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/73bfv.

    2. 2020-10-01

    3. 10.31234/osf.io/73bfv
    4. Objective: How does our personality relate to the ways in which we judge right from wrong? Drawing on influential theories of moral judgment, we identify candidate traits that may be linked with inclinations toward (a) consequentialist judgments (i.e., those based on the outcomes of an action) and (b) deontological judgments (i.e., those based on the alignment of an action with particular moral rules). Method: Across two studies (total N = 843), we examined domains and aspects of the Big Five in relation to inclinations toward consequentialist and deontological judgments. Results: In both studies, we found a unique association between intellect (curiosity, cognitive engagement) and consequentialist inclinations, in line with the view that deliberative cognitive processes drive such inclinations. We also found a consistent unique association between politeness (respectfulness, etiquette) and deontological inclinations, in line with the view that norm-adherence drives such inclinations. Neither study yielded a significant unique relation between deontological inclinations and compassion (sympathy, empathic concern)—or any other emotion-infused trait (e.g., neuroticism)—as would be expected based on emotion- centered views of deontological moral judgment. Conclusions: These findings have implications for theories of moral judgment, and reveal how our personality guides our approach to questions of ethics and morality.
    5. Personality and moral judgment: Curious consequentialists and polite deontologists (Journal of Personality)
    1. New America. ‘People With Disabilities Are Getting Sidelined in Pandemic Aid Talks — Again’. Accessed 2 October 2020. http://newamerica.org/weekly/people-with-disabilities-are-getting-sidelined-in-pandemic-aid-talks-again/.

    2. Speaking at a campaign rally in Ohio on Tuesday, President Trump doubled down on previous comments he’s made downplaying the severity of COVID-19, arguing that the coronavirus “affects virtually nobody,” except the elderly and those with “other problems.” The president’s words categorically dismissed the importance of protecting people with preexisting health issues, including more than a quarter of the U.S. population who were born with or have acquired a disability.
    3. 2020-09-25

    4. People With Disabilities Are Getting Sidelined in Pandemic Aid Talks — Again
    1. Mendonça, Raíssa Oliveira de, Mylena Maria Ribeiro de Almeida, Talita Garcia Barroso, Normando José Queiroz Viana, and Caio Maximino. ‘COVID-19, Social Isolation, and Psychological Distress in a Brazilian Sample’. Preprint. PsyArXiv, 30 September 2020. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/f942w.

    2. 2020-09-30

    3. 10.31234/osf.io/f942w
    4. Importance: The global infection outbreak by the new SARS-CoV-2 prompted community containment schedules; however, social isolation is a predictor of psychological distress. Objective: To determine whether social isolation, in Brazil, led to higher signs of psychological distress, and which intra- and inter-psychic variables mediated this effect. The following hypotheses were tested: 1) in isolated individuals, loneliness activates distancing and escape-avoidance coping strategies with intensities that are directly correlated with symptoms of anxiety and common health disorders; 2) in isolated individuals, poor reliance on social support coping strategies increase the effects of loneliness on symptoms of anxiety and common mental disorders; 3) in isolated individuals, External Entrapment moderates the effects of loneliness such that the higher the feelings of entrapment, the higher the effects of loneliness on symptoms of anxiety and common mental disorders. 4) in both isolated and non-isolated individuals, intense reliance on positive reappraisal coping strategies decrease (moderate) the effects of information consumption on symptoms of anxiety and common mental disorders. No a priori hypothesis on the specific nature of the subjective experiences of social isolation were established. We proposed that the semantic field of social isolation should present a complex and multidimensional nature. Design: Two phases of web-based surveys were applied to participants between May 25th 2020 and August 19th 2020. Setting: Brazilian participants responded surveys on the web. Participants: For Phase 1, 440 participants responded to the survey. Participants were a volunteer sample of Brazilian nationality and above 18 years old. For Phase 2, a sub-sample of 55 participants was drawn from the pool of the first phase. Main outcomes and measures: For Phase 1, the primary endpoint was score in the SRQ-20 scale (an instrument to screen symptoms of common mental disorders), and the secondary endpoint was score in an anxiety scale that screened feelings of anxiety related to illness and medical procedures. Results: For Phase 1, 51% of the sample reported leaving the house less than once a week during the period of the research, 27.6% reported leaving the house 1-2 times per week, 9.8% reported leaving the house 3-4 times per week, and 11.6% reported leaving the house every day. Using SRQ-20, we found that 76.9% of the female respondents and 58.0% of the male respondents that reported leaving their houses less than once a week showed clinically significant symptoms, while these proportions fell below 65% for females and 44% for males that reported leaving their houses more than 3 times per week. Reliance on escape/avoidance as well as distancing coping strategies were significant mediators of the effect of isolation-induced loneliness. We did not find support for the hypothesis that reliance on social support coping strategies significantly altered the effects of social isolation-induced loneliness on psychological distress, nor for the hypothesis that external entrapment moderated the effects of loneliness. We also found that the impact of reliance on positive reappraisal coping strategies on the relationship between frequency of media use for COVID-19-related information and psychological distress depended on the type of media, with individuals which sought information from print or online newspapers, social networks, and podcasts at higher frequencies consistently showing more psychological distress; however, higher levels of positive reappraisal coping strategies increased this impact instead of decreasing it. In Phase 2 (qualitative survey), 47.3% of the sample reported leaving the house less than once a week during the period of the research, 21.8% reported leaving the house 1-2 times per week, 10.9% reported leaving the house 3-4 times per week, and 20% reported leaving the house every day. At the qualitative survey we found that individuals interpreted isolation as producing self-assessment with protective and introspective dimensions, but also ruminative and emotional experiences of distress. Conclusions and relevance: Our results reveal that social isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic significantly increased psychological distress at clinically relevant rates, with loneliness being an important predictor of this effect. We also found that escape-avoidance and distancing coping strategies mediated this effect. Psychological distress was also related to high consumption of COVID-19-related information in social networks, print or online newspapers, and podcasts, but that relying on positive reappraisal coping strategies increased this effect instead of decreasing it. Our results suggest the need for policies that diminish the impact of social isolation on mental health; the need to assess and teach alternative coping strategies in clinical settings; and the need to address the impact of Internet-based sources.
    5. COVID-19, social isolation, and psychological distress in a Brazilian sample
    1. Trevors, Greg, and Melissa Duffy. ‘Correcting COVID-19 Misconceptions Requires Caution’, 30 September 2020. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/6wbma.

    2. 2020-09-30

    3. 10.31234/osf.io/6wbma
    4. Individuals generally revise their misconceptions when corrected with carefully designed educational materials. However, early reports suggest that correcting COVID-19 misconceptions may be especially challenging, which may be due to conflicts with individuals’ moral values and emotions. The present study explores the mechanisms and boundaries of correction effectiveness. Those highest in moral concerns for group cohesion or for individual freedoms were more likely to affectively or cognitively reject corrective information. Corrections of COVID-19 misconceptions should be carefully framed to connect with the morality of recipients and anticipate their emotional and cognitive reactions.
    5. Correcting COVID-19 misconceptions requires caution
    1. Omary, Areen. ‘COVID-19 Health Status Scale (CHSS)’. Preprint. PsyArXiv, 30 September 2020. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/2wnxd.

    2. 10.31234/osf.io/2wnxd
    3. 2020-09-30

    4. This study will explore how COVID-19 impacts physical and mental health among convenience samples taken from the general US adult population to improve health and wellbeing for vulnerable groups. Any knowledge thus gained should clarify how the pandemic has affected the overall physical and mental health of these individuals. The CHSS approach to measuring health status should help evaluate general populational needs, treatments, and programs in the COVID-19 context. Study significance. There is a lack of research on how populational health is affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in the context of physical and mental health functioning among the general population. This study holds significant potential in three main areas. First, the US faces an unprecedented and sweeping pandemic, which threatens both the quality of life and life itself across a broad populational spectrum. It is urgent to enhance our understanding of how COVID-19 affects the general population, which requires a rapid investigation of its widespread effects on physical and mental health. Second, the knowledge gained from exploring the relationship between COVID-19 and physical/mental health status will help design new clinical and community interventions that are tailored to general populational needs. Any new health and welfare interventions must be evaluated based on their actual impact. Third, a reliable, valid, and practical outcome measure is a priority area for understanding the physical and mental health consequences of COVID-19. Although physical and mental health care outcomes can be assessed through a variety of parameters, such as satisfaction and cost, health status is the most important.
    5. COVID-19 Health Status Scale (CHSS)
    1. Mecit, Alican, L. J. Shrum, and Tina M. Lowrey. ‘COVID-19 Is Feminine: Grammatical Gender Influences Future Danger Perceptions and Precautionary Behavior’. Preprint. PsyArXiv, 30 September 2020. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/x8kp2.

    2. 2020-09-30

    3. 10.31234/osf.io/x8kp2
    4. Gendered languages assign masculine and feminine grammatical gender to all nouns, including nonhuman entities. In French, Italian, and Spanish, the name of the disease resulting from the virus (COVID-19) is grammatically feminine, whereas the virus that causes the disease (coronavirus) is masculine. In this research, we test whether the grammatical gender mark matters. In a series of experiments with French and Spanish speakers, we find that grammatical gender affects virus-related judgments consistent with gender stereotypes: feminine- (vs. masculine-) marked terms for the virus decrease perceptions of future danger of the virus and reduce intentions to take precautionary behavioral measures to mitigate contraction and spread of the virus (e.g., avoiding restaurants, movies, travel). Secondary data analyses of online search behavior for France, Spain, and Italy further demonstrate this negative relation between the anticipated threat (daily new cases and deaths, search for masks) and usage of the feminine- (vs. masculine-) marked terms for the coronavirus. These effects occur even though the grammatical gender assignment is semantically arbitrary.
    5. COVID-19 is Feminine: Grammatical Gender Influences Future Danger Perceptions and Precautionary Behavior
    1. Mondelli, Mario U., Marta Colaneri, Elena M. Seminari, Fausto Baldanti, and Raffaele Bruno. ‘Low Risk of SARS-CoV-2 Transmission by Fomites in Real-Life Conditions’. The Lancet Infectious Diseases 0, no. 0 (29 September 2020). https://doi.org/10.1016/S1473-3099(20)30678-2.

    2. We read with interest the Comment by Emanuel Goldman1Goldman E Exaggerated risk of transmission of COVID-19 by fomites.Lancet Infect Dis. 2020; (published online July 3.)https://doi.org/10.1016/S1473-3099(20)30561-2Summary Full Text Full Text PDF Scopus (2) Google Scholar highlighting experiments done under controlled laboratory conditions that suggest persistence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) on inanimate surfaces for days, with potential implications for viral transmission.2van Doremalen N Bushmaker T Morris DH et al.Aerosol and surface stability of SARS-CoV-2 as compared with SARS-CoV-1.N Engl J Med. 2020; 382: 1564-1567Crossref PubMed Scopus (1409) Google Scholar Yet, at the same time, Goldman laments the absence of real-life studies investigating the infectious potential of SARS-CoV-2 on contaminated inanimate material and patient fomites, particularly in high-risk hospital wards. A study done in a hospital environment showed that most surfaces were contaminated, including air-conditioning vents, bed rails, bedside lockers, and rarely, toilets.3Chia PY Coleman KK Tan YK et al.Detection of air and surface contamination by SARS-CoV-2 in hospital rooms of infected patients.Nat Commun. 2020; 112800Crossref PubMed Scopus (25) Google Scholar Of note, environmental surface contamination declined after week 1 of illness, and intriguingly, no surface contamination was detected in intensive care unit (ICU) rooms. A limitation of the study by Chia and colleagues3Chia PY Coleman KK Tan YK et al.Detection of air and surface contamination by SARS-CoV-2 in hospital rooms of infected patients.Nat Commun. 2020; 112800Crossref PubMed Scopus (25) Google Scholar is that no attempt was made to culture SARS-CoV-2 from the environmental swabs, which would have helped to understand the significance of SARS-CoV-2 RNA positive samples in terms of infectious potential.
    3. 2020-09-29

    4. 10.1016/S1473-3099(20)30678-2
    5. Low risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission by fomites in real-life conditions
    1. Franco-Paredes, Carlos, Nazgol Ghandnoosh, Hassan Latif, Martin Krsak, Andres F. Henao-Martinez, Megan Robins, Lilian Vargas Barahona, and Eric M. Poeschla. ‘Decarceration and Community Re-Entry in the COVID-19 Era’. The Lancet Infectious Diseases 0, no. 0 (29 September 2020). https://doi.org/10.1016/S1473-3099(20)30730-1.

    2. 2020-09-29

    3. Jails and prisons are exceptionally susceptible to viral outbreaks, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. The USA has extremely high rates of incarceration and COVID-19 is causing an urgent health crisis in correctional facilities and detention centres. Epidemics happening in prisons are compounding the elevated risks that COVID-19 poses to people of colour, older people, and those with comorbidities. Intersectoral community re-entry efforts in the USA and other countries have shown that releasing people from correctional facilities as a pandemic-era public health intervention is safe and can support both public safety and community rebuilding. Therefore, substantial decarceration in the USA should be initiated. A point of focus for such efforts is that many people in prison are serving excessively long sentences and pose acceptable safety risks for release. Properly managed, correctional depopulation will prevent considerable COVID-19 morbidity and mortality and reduce prevailing socioeconomic and health inequities.
    4. 10.1016/S1473-3099(20)30730-1
    5. Decarceration and community re-entry in the COVID-19 era
    1. MacFarlane, Douglas, Li Qian Tay, Mark J. Hurlstone, and Ullrich Ecker. ‘Refuting Spurious COVID-19 Treatment Claims Reduces Demand and Misinformation Sharing’, 30 September 2020. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/q3mkd.

    2. 2020-09-30

    3. 10.31234/osf.io/q3mkd
    4. Misinformation promoting spurious treatments can have serious consequences, arising both from direct harm and opportunity costs. The COVID-19 pandemic has seen a surge of health misinformation, which fact-checkers have struggled to cope with. We investigated (N = 678) the impact of such health misinformation on two behavioral measures, viz. willingness to pay for a spurious treatment, and propensity to share misinformation online. This is a novel approach, as previous research has used mainly questionnaire-based measures. We also compared two interventions to counteract the misinformation, viz. a standard refutation based on materials used by health authorities, and an enhanced refutation based on best-practice recommendations. We found exposure to misinformation promoted sharing of misinformation online, and that both refutations reduced demand for the spurious treatment and discouraged misinformation sharing. Importantly, the enhanced refutation had significantly greater impact on misinformation sharing. This highlights the need for debunking interventions to follow current best-practice guidelines.
    5. Refuting Spurious COVID-19 Treatment Claims Reduces Demand and Misinformation Sharing