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Jel Classification:I18 

Report
An Approach to Predicting Regional Labor Market Effects of Economic Shocks: The COVID-19 Pandemic in New England

The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic led state and local governments throughout New England and much of the nation to issue ordinances restricting activity that might otherwise contribute to the spread of the disease. Individuals also freely adjusted their behavior, hoping to reduce the chances of infecting themselves or others. As a result, many employers have experienced substantial reductions in sales revenue, which were expected to generate harmful effects on the labor market. Even though the reversal of mandated policies and voluntary behavior changes are well under way, the initial ...
Current Policy Perspectives

Discussion Paper
Does the BCG Vaccine Protect Against Coronavirus? Applying an Economist’s Toolkit to a Medical Question

As COVID-19 has spread across the globe, there is an intense search for treatments and vaccines, with numerous trials running in multiple countries. Several observers and prominent news outlets have noticed that countries still administering an old vaccine against tuberculosis—the Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine—have had fewer coronavirus cases and fewer deaths per capita in the early stages of the outbreak. But is that correlation really strong evidence that the BCG vaccine provides some defense against COVID-19? In this post, we look at the incidence of coronavirus cases along ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20200511

Discussion Paper
Did State Reopenings Increase Social Interactions?

Social distancing—avoiding nonessential movement and largely staying at home—is seen as key to limiting the spread of COVID-19. To promote social distancing, over forty states imposed shelter-in-place or stay-at-home orders, closing nonessential businesses, banning large gatherings, and encouraging citizens to stay home. Over the course of the last month, virtually all of these states have reopened. However, these reopenings were preceded by a spontaneous increase in mobility and decline in social distancing. Did the reopenings decrease social distancing, or did it ratify ex post what was ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20200617

Report
The Spread of COVID-19 and the BCG Vaccine: A Natural Experiment in Reunified Germany

As COVID-19 has spread across the globe, several observers noticed that countries still administering an old vaccine against tuberculosis—the BCG vaccine—have had fewer COVID-19 cases and deaths per capita in the early stages of the outbreak. This paper uses a geographic regression discontinuity analysis to study whether and how COVID-19 prevalence changes discontinuously at the old border between West Germany and East Germany. The border used to separate two countries with very different vaccination policies during the Cold War era. We provide formal evidence that there is indeed a ...
Staff Reports , Paper 926

Working Paper
Disparities and Mitigation Behavior during COVID-19

This paper uses a unique large-scale survey administered in April 2020 to assess disparities on several dimensions of wellbeing under rising COVID-19 infections and mitigation restrictions in the US. The survey includes three modules designed to assess different dimensions of well-being in parallel: physical health, mental and social health, and economic and financial security. The survey is unique among early COVID-19 data efforts in that provides insight on diverse dimensions of wellbeing and for subnational geographies. I find dramatic declines in wellbeing from pre-COVID baseline measures ...
Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute Working Papers , Paper 32

Working Paper
Indian Residential Schools, Height, and Body Mass Post-1930

We study the effects of Canadian Indian residential schooling on two anthropometric measures of health during childhood: adult height and body weight. We use repeated cross sectional data from the 1991 and 2001 Aboriginal Peoples Survey and leverage detailed historical data on school closures and location to make causal inferences. We ?nd evidence that, on average, residential schooling increases adult height and the likelihood of a healthy adult body weight for those who attended. These effects are concentrated after the 1950s when the schools were subject to tighter health regulations and ...
Center for Indian Country Development series , Paper 3-2019

Working Paper
Financial Consequences of Health Insurance: Evidence from the ACA’s Dependent Coverage Mandate

We study the financial effects of health insurance for young adults using the Affordable Care Act’s dependent coverage mandate as a source of exogenous variation. Using nationally repre-sentative, anonymized credit report and publicly available survey data on medical expenditures, we exploit the mandate’s implementation in 2010 and its automatic disenrollment mechanism at age 26. Our estimates show that increasing access to health insurance lowered young adults’ out-of-pocket medical expenditures, debt in third-party collections, and the probability of per-sonal bankruptcy. However, ...
Working Papers , Paper 19-54

Working Paper
Did the ACA's Dependent Coverage Mandate Reduce Financial Distress for Young Adults?

We analyze whether the passage of the Affordable Care Act's dependent coverage mandate in 2010 reduced financial distress for young adults. U sing nationally representative, anonymized consumer credit report information, we find that young adults covered by the mandate lowered their past due debt, had fewer delinquencies, and had a reduced probability of filing for bankruptcy. These effects are stronger in geographic areas that experienced higher uninsured rates for young adults prior to the mandate's implementation. Our estimates also show that some improvements are transitory because they ...
Working Papers , Paper 18-3

Working Paper
Not in My Backyard? Not So Fast. The Effect of Marijuana Legalization on Neighborhood Crime

This paper studies the effects of marijuana legalization on neighborhood crime using unique geospatial data from Denver, Colorado. We construct a highly local panel data set that includes changes in the location of marijuana dispensaries and changes in neighborhood crime. To account for endogenous retail dispensary locations, we use a novel identification strategy that exploits exogenous changes in demand across different locations. The change in geographic demand arises from the increased importance of access to external markets caused by a change in state and local policy. The results imply ...
Working Papers , Paper 17-19

Working Paper
Competition and Health-Care Spending: Theory and Application to Certificate of Need Laws

Hospitals and other health-care providers in 34 states must obtain a Certificate of Need (CON) from a state board before opening or expanding, leading to reduced competition. We develop a theoretical model of how market concentration affects health-care spending. Our theoretical model shows that increases in concentration, such as those brought about by CON, can either increase or decrease spending. Our model predicts that CON is more likely to increase spending in markets in which costs are low and patients are sicker. We test our model using spending data from the Household Component of the ...
Working Papers , Paper 19-38

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