222 Matching Annotations
  1. Sep 2020
    1. 2020-08-28

    2. r/BehSciAsk - Behavioural Policy challenge: How well do people understand trade-offs and accept them? (n.d.). Reddit. Retrieved 9 September 2020, from https://www.reddit.com/r/BehSciAsk/comments/ii3n2x/behavioural_policy_challenge_how_well_do_people/

    3. A question for us as most countries are now immersed in the complexities of living and working amidst the pandemic. Every decision comes with trade-offs, whether it is to ‘close pubs so schools can open’ or weigh up the risks to children from missing school vs. catching the virus.There are many conversations to be had about these complex dilemmas. We are interested in what behavioural science tells us about how people respond to problems with trade-offs, or compromises.
    4. Behavioural Policy challenge: How well do people understand trade-offs and accept them?
  2. Aug 2020
    1. 2020-08-25

    2. Physical abuse of older children soared in lockdown, says NSPCC. (2020, August 24). The Guardian. http://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/aug/25/physical-abuse-older-children-soared-lockdown-says-nspcc

    3. Four times as many adolescents are physically abused compared with younger children in England, analysis of police-recorded offences shows, with incidents against 11- to 18-year-olds soaring during the coronavirus lockdown.The numbers and rates of recorded physical abuse offences against older children in England and Wales have increased since 2014-15, the NSPCC said in a report.
    4. Physical abuse of older children soared in lockdown, says NSPCC
    1. 2020-08-12

    2. Shi, W., Wang, L., & Qin, J. (2020). Extracting user influence from ratings and trust for rating prediction in recommendations. Scientific Reports, 10(1), 13592. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-70350-1

    3. 10.1038/s41598-020-70350-1
    4. The Collaborative Filtering (CF) algorithm based on trust has been the main method used to solve the cold start problem in Recommendation Systems (RSs) for the past few years. Nevertheless, the current trust-based CF algorithm ignores the implicit influence contained in the ratings and trust data. In this paper, we propose a new rating prediction model named the Rating-Trust-based Recommendation Model (RTRM) to explore the influence of internal factors among the users. The proposed user internal factors include the user reliability and popularity. The internal factors derived from the explicit behavior data (ratings and trust), which can help us understand the user better and model the user more accurately. In addition, we incorporate the proposed internal factors into the Singular Value Decomposition Plus Plus (SVD + +) model to perform the rating prediction task. Experimental studies on two common datasets show that utilizing ratings and trust data simultaneously to mine the factors that influence the relationships among different users can improve the accuracy of rating prediction and effectively relieve the cold start problem.
    5. Extracting user influence from ratings and trust for rating prediction in recommendations
    1. 2020-08-12

    2. Engelhardt, R., Hendricks, V. F., & Stærk-Østergaard, J. (2020). The Wisdom and Persuadability of Threads. ArXiv:2008.05203 [Physics]. http://arxiv.org/abs/2008.05203

    3. 2008.05203
    4. Online discussion threads are important means for individual decision-making and for aggregating collective judgments, e.g. the `wisdom of crowds'. Empirical investigations of the wisdom of crowds are currently ambivalent about the role played by social information. While some findings suggest that social information undermines crowd accuracy due to correlated judgment errors, others show that accuracy improves. We investigate experimentally the accuracy of threads in which participants make magnitude estimates of varying difficulty while seeing a varying number of previous estimates. We demonstrate that, for difficult tasks, seeing preceding estimates aids the wisdom of crowds. If, however, participants only see extreme estimates, wisdom quickly turns into folly. Using a Gaussian Mixture Model, we assign a persuadability score to each participant and show that persuadability increases with task difficulty and with the amount of social information provided. In filtered threads, we see an increasing gap between highly persuadable participants and skeptics.
    5. The Wisdom and Persuadability of Threads
    1. 2020-08-13

    2. editor, P. B. S. policy. (2020, August 13). UK’s poorest ‘skip meals and go hungry’ during coronavirus crisis. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/aug/12/coronavirus-lockdown-hits-nutritional-health-of-uks-poorest

    3. The coronavirus pandemic has had a catastrophic effect on the nutritional health of the UK’s poorest citizens with as many as one in 10 forced to use food banks, and vast numbers skipping meals and going hungry, according to the government’s food safety watchdog. Food insecurity has shot up even further since lockdown as people’s income reduced, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) said, heightening the risk both of malnutrition and obesity as struggling families adopted highly restrictive “basic sustenance” diets that largely cut out healthy foods.
    4. UK's poorest 'skip meals and go hungry' during coronavirus crisis
    1. 2020-03-16

    2. Why a Group of Behavioural Scientists Penned an Open Letter to the U.K. Government Questioning Its Coronavirus Response. (2020, March 16). Behavioral Scientist. https://behavioralscientist.org/why-a-group-of-behavioural-scientists-penned-an-open-letter-to-the-uk-government-questioning-its-coronavirus-response-covid-19-social-distancing/

    3. On Friday, a group of behavioural scientists penned an open letter to the U.K. government questioning the decision to not enact strict social distancing policies. Social distancing measures, like closing restaurants and pubs, cancelling school and events, and working from home are being enforced across Europe. The U.K. government, however, has taken a decidedly different approach. At the time of publishing, around 1,400 cases of the virus had been detected in the U.K., up 1,000 from the week before. The open letter raises questions about the behavioural science evidence that may have been used to justify this decision—though a lack of transparency from the government has made it hard to discern what the official policy is. The letter has been signed by nearly 600 behavioural scientists from around the United Kingdom (at the time of publishing). In this op-ed, the authors of the letter explain why they are calling on the government to explain the scientific rationale behind their policy decisions thus far.
    4. Why a Group of Behavioural Scientists Penned an Open Letter to the U.K. Government Questioning Its Coronavirus Response
    1. 2020-06-24

    2. ’Normal wasn’t working’—John Kerry, Phillip Atiba Goff and others on the new social contract post-COVID. (n.d.). World Economic Forum. Retrieved 12 August 2020, from https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/06/great-reset-social-contract-john-kerry-phillip-goff/

    3. COVID-19 has affected the livelihoods of an estimated 1.3 billion workers who represent nearly half of the world’s workforce, amplifying economic and social inequalities. In this session titled Redesigning Social Contracts in Crisis, the latest in the World Economic Forum’s Great Reset series, speakers from a range of locations and sectors respond to calls for stronger, more sustainable and more inclusive social contract.
    4. 'Normal wasn't working' - John Kerry, Phillip Atiba Goff and others on the new social contract post-COVID
    1. Andersen, M., Maclean, J. C., Pesko, M. F., & Simon, K. I. (2020). Effect of a Federal Paid Sick Leave Mandate on Working and Staying at Home: Evidence from Cellular Device Data (Working Paper No. 27138; Working Paper Series). National Bureau of Economic Research. https://doi.org/10.3386/w27138

    2. 2020-05

    3. 10.3386/w27138
    4. We study the effects of the temporary federal paid sick leave mandate that became effective April 1st, 2020 on ‘social distancing,’ as proxied by physical mobility behavior gleaned from cellular devices. The national paid leave policy was implemented in response to the COVID-19 outbreak and provided many private and many public employees, including individuals employed in the gig economy, with up to two weeks of paid leave. We study the early impact of the federal paid sick leave policy using interrupted time series analyses and difference-in-differences methods leveraging pre-FFCRA county-level differences in mobility. Our proxies for the ability to social distance are the share of cellular devices that are located in the workplace eight or more hours per day (‘full-time work’) and leave the home for less than one hour per day (‘at home’) in each county. Our findings suggest that the federal mandate decreased our full-time work proxy and increased our at home proxy. In particular, we find an initial decrease in working full-time of 17.7% and increase in staying home of 7.5%, with effects dissipating within three weeks. Given that up to 47% of employees are covered by the federal mandate, our effect sizes are arguably non-trivial
    5. Effect of a Federal Paid Sick Leave Mandate on Working and Staying at Home: Evidence from Cellular Device Data
    1. Bartik, A. W., Cullen, Z. B., Glaeser, E. L., Luca, M., Stanton, C. T., & Sunderam, A. (2020). The Targeting and Impact of Paycheck Protection Program Loans to Small Businesses (Working Paper No. 27623; Working Paper Series). National Bureau of Economic Research. https://doi.org/10.3386/w27623

    2. 2020-07

    3. 10.3386/w27623
    4. The Targeting and Impact of Paycheck Protection Program Loans to Small Businesses
    5. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) aimed to quickly deliver hundreds of billions of dollars of loans to small businesses, with the loans administered via private banks. In this paper, we use firm-level data to document the demand and supply of PPP funds. Using an instrumental variables approach, we find that PPP loans led to a 14 to 30 percentage point increase in a business’s expected survival, and a positive but imprecise effect on employment. Moreover, the effects on survival were heterogeneous and highlight an important tradeoff faced by policymakers: while administering the loans via private banks allowed for rapid delivery of funds, it also limited the government’s ability to target the funding - instead allowing pre-existing connections between businesses and banks to determine which firms would benefit from the program.
    1. Coibion, O., Gorodnichenko, Y., & Weber, M. (2020). Does Policy Communication During Covid Work? (Working Paper No. 27384; Working Paper Series). National Bureau of Economic Research. https://doi.org/10.3386/w27384

    2. 2020-06

    3. 10.3386/w27384
    4. Using a large-scale survey of U.S. households during the Covid-19 pandemic, we study how new information about fiscal and monetary policy responses to the crisis affects households’ expectations. We provide random subsets of participants in the Nielsen Homescan panel with different combinations of information about the severity of the pandemic, recent actions by the Federal Reserve, stimulus measures, as well as recommendations from health officials. This experiment allows us to assess to what extent these policy announcements alter the beliefs and spending plans of households. In short, they do not, contrary to the powerful effects they have in standard macroeconomic models.
    5. Does Policy Communication During Covid Work?
    1. Kozlowski, J., Veldkamp, L., & Venkateswaran, V. (2020). Scarring Body and Mind: The Long-Term Belief-Scarring Effects of COVID-19 (Working Paper No. 27439; Working Paper Series). National Bureau of Economic Research. https://doi.org/10.3386/w27439

    2. 2020-06

    3. 10.3386/w27439
    4. The largest economic cost of the COVID-19 pandemic could arise from changes in behavior long after the immediate health crisis is resolved. A potential source of such a long-lived change is scarring of beliefs, a persistent change in the perceived probability of an extreme, negative shock in the future. We show how to quantify the extent of such belief changes and determine their impact on future economic outcomes. We find that the long-run costs for the U.S. economy from this channel is many times higher than the estimates of the short-run losses in output. This suggests that, even if a vaccine cures everyone in a year, the Covid-19 crisis will leave its mark on the US economy for many years to come.
    5. Scarring Body and Mind: The Long-Term Belief-Scarring Effects of COVID-19
    1. Argente, D. O., Hsieh, C.-T., & Lee, M. (2020). The Cost of Privacy: Welfare Effects of the Disclosure of COVID-19 Cases (Working Paper No. 27220; Working Paper Series). National Bureau of Economic Research. https://doi.org/10.3386/w27220

    2. 2020-07

    3. 10.3386/w27220
    4. South Korea publicly disclosed detailed location information of individuals that tested positive for COVID-19. We quantify the effect of public disclosure on the transmission of the virus and economic losses in Seoul. The change in commuting patterns due to public disclosure lowers the number of cases by 200 thousand and the number of deaths by 7.7 thousand in Seoul over two years. Compared to a city-wide lock-down that results in the same number of cases over two years as the disclosure scenario, the economic cost of such a lockdown is almost four times higher.
    5. The Cost of Privacy: Welfare Effects of the Disclosure of COVID-19 Cases
    1. Bartik, A. W., Bertrand, M., Cullen, Z. B., Glaeser, E. L., Luca, M., & Stanton, C. T. (2020). How Are Small Businesses Adjusting to COVID-19? Early Evidence from a Survey (Working Paper No. 26989; Working Paper Series). National Bureau of Economic Research. https://doi.org/10.3386/w26989

    2. 2020-04

    3. 10.3386/w26989
    4. In addition to its impact on public health, COVID-19 has had a major impact on the economy. To shed light on how COVID-19 is affecting small businesses – and on the likely impact of the recent stimulus bill, we conducted a survey of more than 5,800 small businesses. Several main themes emerge from the results. First, mass layoffs and closures have already occurred. In our sample, 43 percent of businesses are temporarily closed, and businesses have – on average – reduced their employee counts by 40 percent relative to January. Second, consistent with previous literature, we find that many small businesses are financially fragile. For example, the median business has more than $10,000 in monthly expenses and less than one month of cash on hand. Third, businesses have widely varying beliefs about the likely duration of COVID related disruptions. Fourth, the majority of businesses planned to seek funding through the CARES act. However, many anticipated problems with accessing the aid, such as bureaucratic hassles and difficulties establishing eligibility.
    5. How Are Small Businesses Adjusting to COVID-19? Early Evidence from a Survey
    1. Brown, C. S., & Ravallion, M. (2020). Inequality and the Coronavirus: Socioeconomic Covariates of Behavioral Responses and Viral Outcomes Across US Counties (Working Paper No. 27549; Working Paper Series). National Bureau of Economic Research. https://doi.org/10.3386/w27549

    2. 2020-07

    3. 10.3386/w27549
    4. Inequality and the Coronavirus: Socioeconomic Covariates of Behavioral Responses and Viral Outcomes Across US Counties
    5. Not much is obvious about how socioeconomic inequalities impact the spread of infectious diseases once one considers behavioral responses, correlations among multiple covariates and the likely non-linearities and dynamics involved. Social distancing responses to the threat of catching COVID-19 and outcomes for infections and deaths are modelled across US counties, augmenting epidemiological and health covariates with within-county median incomes, poverty and income inequality, and age and racial composition. Systematic socioeconomic effects on social distancing and infections emerge, and most effects do not fade as the virus spreads. Deaths, once infected, are less responsive to socioeconomic covariates. Richer counties tend to see greater gains in social distancing and lower infection rates, controlling for more standard epidemiological factors. Income poverty and inequality tend to increase the infection rate, but these effects are largely accountable to their correlation with racial composition. A more elderly population increases deaths conditional on infections, but has an offsetting effect on the infection rate, consistent with the behavioral responses we find through social distancing.
    1. Atkeson, A. (2020). What Will Be the Economic Impact of COVID-19 in the US? Rough Estimates of Disease Scenarios (Working Paper No. 26867; Working Paper Series). National Bureau of Economic Research. https://doi.org/10.3386/w26867

    2. 2020-03

    3. This note is intended to introduce economists to a simple SIR model of the progression of COVID-19 in the United States over the next 12-18 months. An SIR model is a Markov model of the spread of an epidemic in a population in which the total population is divided into categories of being susceptible to the disease (S), actively infected with the disease (I), and recovered (or dead) and no longer contagious (R). How an epidemic plays out over time is determined by the transition rates between these three states. This model allows for quantitative statements regarding the tradeoff between the severity and timing of suppression of the disease through social distancing and the progression of the disease in the population. Example applications of the model are provided. Special attention is given to the question of if and when the fraction of active infections in the population exceeds 1% (at which point the health system is forecast to be severely challenged) and 10% (which may result in severe staffing shortages for key financial and economic infrastructure) as well as the cumulative burden of the disease over an 18 month horizon.
    4. 10.3386/w26867
    5. What Will Be the Economic Impact of COVID-19 in the US? Rough Estimates of Disease Scenarios
    1. Fahlenbrach, R., Rageth, K., & Stulz, R. M. (2020). How Valuable is Financial Flexibility when Revenue Stops? Evidence from the COVID-19 Crisis (Working Paper No. 27106; Working Paper Series). National Bureau of Economic Research. https://doi.org/10.3386/w27106

    2. Firms with greater financial flexibility should be better able to fund a revenue shortfall resulting from the COVID-19 shock and benefit less from policy responses. We find that firms with high financial flexibility experience a stock price drop lower by 26% or 9.7 percentage points than those with low financial flexibility accounting for a firm’s industry. This differential return persists as stock prices rebound. Similar results hold for CDS spreads. The stock price of a firm with an average payout over assets ratio would have dropped 2 percentage points less with no payouts for the last three years.
    3. 2020-06

    4. 10.3386/w27106
    5. How Valuable is Financial Flexibility when Revenue Stops? Evidence from the COVID-19 Crisis
    1. Coibion, O., Gorodnichenko, Y., & Weber, M. (2020). The Cost of the Covid-19 Crisis: Lockdowns, Macroeconomic Expectations, and Consumer Spending (Working Paper No. 27141; Working Paper Series). National Bureau of Economic Research. https://doi.org/10.3386/w27141

    2. 2020-05

    3. 10.3386/w27141
    4. We study how the differential timing of local lockdowns due to COVID-19 causally affects households’ spending and macroeconomic expectations at the local level using several waves of a customized survey with more than 10,000 respondents. About 50% of survey participants report income and wealth losses due to the corona virus, with the average losses being $5,293 and $33,482 respectively. Aggregate consumer spending dropped by 31 log percentage points with the largest drops in travel and clothing. We find that households living in counties that went into lockdown earlier expect the unemployment rate over the next twelve months to be 13 percentage points higher and continue to expect higher unemployment at horizons of three to five years. They also expect lower future inflation, report higher uncertainty, expect lower mortgage rates for up to 10 years, and have moved out of foreign stocks into liquid forms of savings. The imposition of lockdowns can account for much of the decline in employment in recent months as well as declines in consumer spending. While lockdowns have pronounced effects on local economic conditions and households’ expectations, they have little impact on approval ratings of Congress, the Fed, or the Treasury but lead to declines in the approval of the President.
    5. The Cost of the Covid-19 Crisis: Lockdowns, Macroeconomic Expectations, and Consumer Spending
    1. Li, L., Strahan, P. E., & Zhang, S. (2020). Banks as Lenders of First Resort: Evidence from the COVID-19 Crisis (Working Paper No. 27256; Working Paper Series). National Bureau of Economic Research. https://doi.org/10.3386/w27256

    2. 2020-05

    3. In March of 2020, banks faced the largest increase in liquidity demands ever observed. Firms drew funds on a massive scale from pre-existing credit lines and loan commitments in anticipation of cash flow disruptions from the economic shutdown designed to contain the COVID-19 crisis. The increase in liquidity demands was concentrated at the largest banks, who serve the largest firms. Pre-crisis financial condition did not limit banks’ liquidity supply. Coincident inflows of funds to banks from both the Federal Reserve’s liquidity injection programs and from depositors, along with strong pre-shock bank capital, explain why banks were able to accommodate these liquidity demands.
    4. 10.3386/w27256
    5. Banks as Lenders of First Resort: Evidence from the COVID-19 Crisis
    1. Allcott, H., Boxell, L., Conway, J. C., Gentzkow, M., Thaler, M., & Yang, D. Y. (2020). Polarization and Public Health: Partisan Differences in Social Distancing during the Coronavirus Pandemic (Working Paper No. 26946; Working Paper Series). National Bureau of Economic Research. https://doi.org/10.3386/w26946

    2. 2020-04

    3. 10.3386/w26946
    4. We study partisan differences in Americans’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Political leaders and media outlets on the right and left have sent divergent messages about the severity of the crisis, which could impact the extent to which Republicans and Democrats engage in social distancing and other efforts to reduce disease transmission. We develop a simple model of a pandemic response with heterogeneous agents that clarifies the causes and consequences of heterogeneous responses. We use location data from a large sample of smartphones to show that areas with more Republicans engaged in less social distancing, controlling for other factors including public policies, population density, and local COVID cases and deaths. We then present new survey evidence of significant gaps at the individual level between Republicans and Democrats in self-reported social distancing, beliefs about personal COVID risk, and beliefs about the future severity of the pandemic.
    5. Polarization and Public Health: Partisan Differences in Social Distancing during the Coronavirus Pandemic
    1. Ziedan, E., Simon, K. I., & Wing, C. (2020). Effects of State COVID-19 Closure Policy on NON-COVID-19 Health Care Utilization (Working Paper No. 27621; Working Paper Series). National Bureau of Economic Research. https://doi.org/10.3386/w27621

    2. 2020-07

    3. 10.3386/w27621
    4. The U.S. health care system has experienced great pressure since early March 2020 as it pivoted to providing necessary care for COVID-19 patients. But there are signs that non-COVID-19 care use declined during this time period. We examine near real time data from a nationwide electronic healthcare records system that covers over 35 million patients to provide new evidence of how non-COVID-19 acute care and preventive/primary care have been affected during the epidemic. Using event study and difference-in-difference models we find that state closure policies (stay-at-home or non-essential business closures) are associated with large declines in ambulatory visits, with effects differing by type of care. State closure policies reduced overall outpatient visits by about 15-16 percent within two weeks. Outpatient visits for health check-ups and well care experience very large declines during the epidemic, with substantial effects from state closure policies. In contrast, mental health outpatient visits declined less than other care, and appear less affected by state closure policies. We find substitution to telehealth modalities may have played an important role in mitigating the decline in mental health care utilization. Aggregate trends in outpatient visits show a 40% decline after the first week of March 2020, only a portion of which is attributed to state policy. A rebound starts around mid April that does not appear to be explained by state reopening policy. Despite this rebound, care visits still remain below the pre-epidemic levels in most cases.
    5. Effects of State COVID-19 Closure Policy on NON-COVID-19 Health Care Utilization
    1. Manski, C. F. (2020). Bounding the Predictive Values of COVID-19 Antibody Tests (Working Paper No. 27226; Working Paper Series). National Bureau of Economic Research. https://doi.org/10.3386/w27226

    2. 2020-05

    3. 10.3386/w27226
    4. COVID-19 antibody tests have imperfect accuracy. There has been lack of clarity on the meaning of reported rates of false positives and false negatives. For risk assessment and clinical decision making, the rates of interest are the positive and negative predictive values of a test. Positive predictive value (PPV) is the chance that a person who tests positive has been infected. Negative predictive value (NPV) is the chance that someone who tests negative has not been infected. The medical literature regularly reports different statistics, sensitivity and specificity. Sensitivity is the chance that an infected person receives a positive test result. Specificity is the chance that a non-infected person receives a negative result. Knowledge of sensitivity and specificity permits one to predict the test result given a person’s true infection status. These predictions are not directly relevant to risk assessment or clinical decisions, where one knows a test result and wants to predict whether a person has been infected. Given estimates of sensitivity and specificity, PPV and NPV can be derived if one knows the prevalence of the disease, the rate of illness in the population. There is considerable uncertainty about the prevalence of COVID-19. This paper addresses the problem of inference on the PPV and NPV of COVID-19 antibody tests given estimates of sensitivity and specificity and credible bounds on prevalence. I explain the methodological problem, show how to estimate bounds on PPV and NPV, and apply the findings to some tests authorized by the FDA.
    5. Bounding the Predictive Values of COVID-19 Antibody Tests
    1. Hartley, J. S., & Rebucci, A. (2020). An Event Study of COVID-19 Central Bank Quantitative Easing in Advanced and Emerging Economies (Working Paper No. 27339; Working Paper Series). National Bureau of Economic Research. https://doi.org/10.3386/w27339

    2. 2020-06

    3. Amid the COVID-19 outbreak and related expected economic downturn, many developed and emerging market central banks around the world engaged in new long-term asset purchase programs, or so-called quantitative easing (QE) interventions. This paper conducts an event-study analysis of 24 COVID-19 QE announcements made by 21 global central banks on their local 10-year government bond yields. We find that the average developed market QE announcement had a statistically significant -0.14% 1-day impact, which is slightly smaller than past interventions during the Great Recession era. In contrast, the average impact of emerging market QE announcements was significantly larger, averaging -0.28% and -0.43% over 1-day and 3-day windows, respectively. Across developed and emerging bond markets, we estimate an overall average 1-day impact of -0.23%. We also show that all 10-year government bond yields in our sample rose sharply in mid-March 2020, but fell substantially after the period of QE announcements that we study in the paper.
    4. 10.3386/w27339
    5. An Event Study of COVID-19 Central Bank Quantitative Easing in Advanced and Emerging Economies
    1. Chaudhuri, S., Lo, A. W., Xiao, D., & Xu, Q. (2020). Bayesian Adaptive Clinical Trials for Anti‐Infective Therapeutics during Epidemic Outbreaks (Working Paper No. 27175; Working Paper Series). National Bureau of Economic Research. https://doi.org/10.3386/w27175

    2. 2020-05

    3. 10.3386/w27175
    4. In the midst of epidemics such as COVID-19, therapeutic candidates are unlikely to be able to complete the usual multiyear clinical trial and regulatory approval process within the course of an outbreak. We apply a Bayesian adaptive patient-centered model—which minimizes the expected harm of false positives and false negatives—to optimize the clinical trial development path during such outbreaks. When the epidemic is more infectious and fatal, the Bayesian-optimal sample size in the clinical trial is lower and the optimal statistical significance level is higher. For COVID-19 (assuming a static R0 – 2 and initial infection percentage of 0.1%), the optimal significance level is 7.1% for a clinical trial of a nonvaccine anti-infective therapeutic and 13.6% for that of a vaccine. For a dynamic R0 decreasing from 3 to 1.5, the corresponding values are 14.4% and 26.4%, respectively. Our results illustrate the importance of adapting the clinical trial design and the regulatory approval process to the specific parameters and stage of the epidemic.
    5. Bayesian Adaptive Clinical Trials for Anti-Infective Therapeutics during Epidemic Outbreaks
    1. Clemens, J., & Veuger, S. (2020). Implications of the Covid-19 Pandemic for State Government Tax Revenues (Working Paper No. 27426; Working Paper Series). National Bureau of Economic Research. https://doi.org/10.3386/w27426

    2. 2020-06

    3. 10.3386/w27426
    4. We assess the Covid-19 pandemic’s implications for state government sales and income tax revenues. We estimate that the economic declines implied by recent forecasts from the Congressional Budget Office will lead to a shortfall of roughly $106 billion in states’ sales and income tax revenues for the 2021 fiscal year. This is equivalent to 0.5 percent of GDP and 11.5 percent of our pre-Covid sales and income tax projection. Additional tax shortfalls from the second quarter of 2020 may amount to roughly $42 billion. We discuss how these revenue declines fit into several pieces of the broader economic context. These include other revenues (e.g., university tuition and fees) that are also at risk, as well as assets (e.g., pension plan holdings) that are at risk. Further dimensions of context include support enacted through several pieces of federal legislation, as well as spending needs necessitated by the public health crisis itself.
    5. Implications of the Covid-19 Pandemic for State Government Tax Revenues
    1. Aum, S., Lee, S. Y. (Tim), & Shin, Y. (2020). COVID-19 Doesn’t Need Lockdowns to Destroy Jobs: The Effect of Local Outbreaks in Korea (Working Paper No. 27264; Working Paper Series). National Bureau of Economic Research. https://doi.org/10.3386/w27264

    2. 2020-05

    3. 10.3386/w27264
    4. Unlike most countries, Korea did not implement a lockdown in its battle against COVID-19, instead successfully relying on testing and contact tracing. Only one region, Daegu-Gyeongbuk (DG), had a significant number of infections, traced to a religious sect. This allows us to estimate the causal effect of the outbreak on the labor market using difference-in-differences. We find that a one per thousand increase in infections causes a 2 to 3 percent drop in local employment. Non-causal estimates of this coefficient from the US and UK, which implemented large-scale lockdowns, range from 5 to 6 percent, suggesting that at most half of the job losses in the US and UK can be attributed to lockdowns. We also find that employment losses caused by local outbreaks in the absence of lockdowns are (i) mainly due to reduced hiring by small establishments, (ii) concentrated in the accommodation/food, education, real estate, and transportation industries, and (iii) worst for the economically vulnerable workers who are less educated, young, in low-wage occupations, and on temporary contracts, even controlling for industry effects. All these patterns are similar to what we observe in the US and UK: The unequal effects of COVID-19 are the same with or without lockdowns. Our finding suggests that the lifting of lockdowns in the US and UK may lead to only modest recoveries in employment unless COVID-19 infection rates fall.
    5. COVID-19 Doesn't Need Lockdowns to Destroy Jobs: The Effect of Local Outbreaks in Korea
    1. Fairlie, R. W. (2020). The Impact of Covid-19 on Small Business Owners: Evidence of Early-Stage Losses from the April 2020 Current Population Survey (Working Paper No. 27309; Working Paper Series). National Bureau of Economic Research. https://doi.org/10.3386/w27309

    2. 2020-06

    3. 10.3386/w27309
    4. Social distancing restrictions and demand shifts from COVID-19 are expected to shutter many small businesses, 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 from the pandemic. 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 business owners was the largest on record, and losses were felt across nearly all industries and even for incorporated businesses. African-American businesses were hit especially hard experiencing a 41 percent drop. Latinx business owners fell by 32 percent, and Asian business owners dropped by 26 percent. Simulations indicate that industry compositions partly placed these groups at a higher risk of losses. Immigrant business owners experienced substantial losses of 36 percent. Female-owned businesses were also disproportionately hit by 25 percent. These findings of early-stage losses to small businesses have important policy implications and may portend longer-term ramifications for job losses and economic inequality.
    5. The Impact of Covid-19 on Small Business Owners: Evidence of Early-Stage Losses from the April 2020 Current Population Survey
    1. Ding, W., Levine, R., Lin, C., & Xie, W. (2020). Social Distancing and Social Capital: Why U.S. Counties Respond Differently to COVID-19 (Working Paper No. 27393; Working Paper Series). National Bureau of Economic Research. https://doi.org/10.3386/w27393

    2. 2020-06

    3. 10.3386/w27393
    4. Since social distancing is the primary strategy for slowing the spread of many diseases, understanding why U.S. counties respond differently to COVID-19 is critical for designing effective public policies. Using daily data from about 45 million mobile phones to measure social distancing we examine how counties responded to both local COVID-19 cases and statewide shelter-in-place orders. We find that social distancing increases more in response to cases and official orders in counties where individuals historically (1) engaged less in community activities and (2) demonstrated greater willingness to incur individual costs to contribute to social objectives. Our work highlights the importance of these two features of social capital—community engagement and individual commitment to societal institutions—in formulating public health policies.
    5. Social Distancing and Social Capital: Why U.S. Counties Respond Differently to COVID-19
    1. Çakmaklı, C., Demiralp, S., Kalemli-Özcan, Ṣebnem, Yesiltas, S., & Yildirim, M. A. (2020). COVID-19 and Emerging Markets: An Epidemiological Model with International Production Networks and Capital Flows (Working Paper No. 27191; Working Paper Series). National Bureau of Economic Research. https://doi.org/10.3386/w27191

    2. 2020-05

    3. 10.3386/w27191
    4. We quantify the macroeconomic effects of COVID-19 for emerging markets using a SIR-multisector-small open economy model and calibrating it to Turkey. Domestic infection rates feed into both sectoral supply and sectoral demand shocks. Sectoral demand shocks also incorporate lower external demand due to foreign infection rates. Infection rates change endogenously with different lockdown policies. To calibrate the model, we use indicators of physical proximity and tele-workability of jobs to measure supply shocks. We use real-time credit card purchases to pin down demand shocks. Our results show that the optimal policy, which yields the lowest economic cost and saves the maximum number of lives, can be achieved under a full lockdown of 39 days. Partial and/or no lockdowns have higher economic costs as it takes longer to control the disease and hence to normalize the demand. Economic costs are much larger for an open economy because of the amplification role of international input-output linkages. Lower capital flows exacerbate this amplification as capital flows are the key form of financing for the production network. We document that sectors with stronger international input-output linkages and higher external debt suffer worse COVID losses and as a result have larger fiscal needs.
    5. COVID-19 and Emerging Markets: An Epidemiological Model with International Production Networks and Capital Flows
    1. Ray, D., & Subramanian, S. (2020). India’s Lockdown: An Interim Report (Working Paper No. 27282; Working Paper Series). National Bureau of Economic Research. https://doi.org/10.3386/w27282

    2. 2020-05

    3. 10.3386/w27282
    4. We provide an interim report on the Indian lockdown provoked by the covid-19 pandemic. The main topics — ranging from the philosophy of lockdown to the provision of relief measures — transcend the Indian case. A recurrent theme is the enormous visibility of covid-19 deaths worldwide, with Governments everywhere propelled to respect this visibility, developing countries perhaps even more so. In advanced economies, the cost of achieving this reduction in visible deaths is “merely” a dramatic reduction in overall economic activity, coupled with far-reaching measures to compensate those who bear such losses. But for India, a developing country with great sectoral and occupational vulnerabilities, this dramatic reduction is more than economic: it means lives lost. These lost lives, through violence, starvation, indebtedness and extreme stress (both psychological and physiological) are invisible. It is this conjunction of visibility and invisibility that drives the Indian response. The lockdown meets all international standards so far; the relief package none.
    5. India's Lockdown: An Interim Report
    1. Alfaro, L., Chari, A., Greenland, A. N., & Schott, P. K. (2020). Aggregate and Firm-Level Stock Returns During Pandemics, in Real Time (Working Paper No. 26950; Working Paper Series). National Bureau of Economic Research. https://doi.org/10.3386/w26950

    2. 2020-05

    3. 10.3386/w26950
    4. We show that unexpected changes in the trajectory of COVID-19 infections predict US stock returns, in real time. Parameter estimates indicate that an unanticipated doubling (halving) of projected infections forecasts next-day decreases (increases) in aggregate US market value of 4 to 11 percent, indicating that equity markets may begin to rebound even as infections continue to rise, if the trajectory of the disease becomes less severe than initially anticipated. Using the same variation in unanticipated projected cases, we find that COVID-19-related losses in market value at the firm level rise with capital intensity and leverage, and are deeper in industries more conducive to disease transmission. These relationships provide important insight into current record job losses. Measuring US states' drops in market value as the employment weighted average declines of the industries they produce, we find that states with milder drops in market value exhibit larger initial jobless claims per worker. This initially counter-intuitive result suggests that investors value the relative ease with which labor versus capital costs can be shed as revenues decline.
    5. Aggregate and Firm-Level Stock Returns During Pandemics, in Real Time