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The Unequal Impact of COVID-19: Why Education Matters
Since COVID-19 hit the United States, more than 20 million American workers have become unemployed and countless others have left the labor force altogether. While the labor market disruptions have affected workers in a wide set of industries and occupations, those without a college degree have experienced the most severe impact. Addressing gaps in educational attainment will be important to creating better economic resiliency for individuals against future shocks.
Replicating and Projecting the Path of COVID-19 with a Model-Implied Reproduction Number
We fit a simple epidemiology model to daily data on the number of currently-infected cases of COVID-19 in China, Italy, the United States, and Brazil. These four countries can be viewed as representing different stages, from late to early, of a COVID-19 epidemic cycle. We solve for a model-implied effective reproduction number Rt each day so that the model closely replicates the daily number of currently infected cases in each country. Using the model-implied time series of Rt, we construct a smoothed version of the in-sample trajectory which is used to project the future evolution of Rt and ...
The Highs and Lows of Productivity Growth
Productivity growth shows evidence of switching between long periods of high and low average growth. Estimates suggest that the United States has been in the low-growth regime since 2004. Assuming this low growth continues, productivity growth in the year 2025 would be 0.6%. By dropping this assumption and allowing for a switch to consistent higher growth, an alternative estimate forecasts that the distribution of possible productivity growth across quarters could average about 1.1% in 2025.