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Keywords:Epidemiological models 

Working Paper
Bayesian Estimation of Epidemiological Models: Methods, Causality, and Policy Trade-Offs

We present a general framework for Bayesian estimation and causality assessment in epidemiological models. The key to our approach is the use of sequential Monte Carlo methods to evaluate the likelihood of a generic epidemiological model. Once we have the likelihood, we specify priors and rely on a Markov chain Monte Carlo to sample from the posterior distribution. We show how to use the posterior simulation outputs as inputs for exercises in causality assessment. We apply our approach to Belgian data for the COVID-19 epidemic during 2020. Our estimated time-varying-parameters SIRD model ...
Working Papers , Paper 21-18

Working Paper
The Causal Effects of Lockdown Policies on Health and Macroeconomic Outcomes

We assess the causal impact of epidemic-induced lockdowns on health and macroeconomic outcomes and measure the trade-off between containing the spread of an epidemic and economic activity. To do so, we estimate an epidemiological model with time-varying parameters and use its output as information for estimating SVARs and LPs that quantify the causal effects of nonpharmaceutical policy interventions. We apply our approach to Belgian data for the COVID-19 epidemic during 2020. We find that additional government mandated mobility curtailments would have reduced deaths at a very small cost in ...
Working Papers , Paper 22-18

Report
Economic Benefits of COVID-19 Screening Tests

We assess the economic value of screening testing programs as a policy response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We find that the fiscal, macroeconomic, and health benefits of rapid SARS-CoV-2 screening testing programs far exceed their costs, with the ratio of economic benefits to costs typically in the range of 2-15 (depending on program details), not counting the monetized value of lives saved. Unless the screening test is highly specific, however, the signal value of the screening test alone is low, leading to concerns about adherence. Confirmatory testing increases the net economic ...
Staff Report , Paper 616

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