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Behavior and the Transmission of COVID-19

We show that a simple model of COVID-19 that incorporates feedback from disease prevalence to disease transmission through an endogenous response of human behavior does a remarkable job fitting the main features of the data on the growth rates of daily deaths observed across a large number countries and states of the United States from March to November of 2020. This finding, however, suggests a new empirical puzzle. Using an accounting procedure akin to that used for Business Cycle Accounting as in Chari et al. (2007), we show that when the parameters of the behavioral response of ...
Staff Report , Paper 618

The Impact of Vaccines and Behavior on U.S. Cumulative Deaths from COVID-19

The CDC reports that 1.13 million Americans have died of COVID-19 through June of 2023. I use a model of the impact over the past three years of vaccines and private and public behavior to mitigate disease transmission during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States to address two questions. First, holding the strength of the response of behavior to the level of daily deaths from COVID-19 fixed, what was the impact of vaccines on cumulative mortality from COVID-19 up through June 2023? And second, holding the pace of deployment of vaccinations fixed, what would have been the impact of ...
Staff Report , Paper 649

A Parsimonious Behavioral SEIR Model of the 2020 COVID Epidemic in the United States and the United Kingdom

I present a behavioral epidemiological model of the evolution of the COVID epidemic in the United States and the United Kingdom over the past 12 months. The model includes the introduction of a new, more contagious variant in the UK in early fall and the US in mid December. The model is behavioral in that activity, and thus transmission, responds endogenously to the daily death rate. I show that with only seasonal variation in the transmission rate and pandemic fatigue modeled as a one-time reduction in the semi-elasticity of the transmission rate to the daily death rate late in the year, the ...
Staff Report , Paper 619



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