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Reopening the U.S. Economy an Industry at a Time
A novel index of physical contact exposure helps to identify the industries that are the most contact-intensive and might reopen later, as well as lower-contact industries that could reopen sooner.
Social Distancing, but Mostly during the Workweek?
Analyzing a new index from the Dallas Fed shows that a key component of social distancing—staying at home—seems to be happening nationally during the week but not as much on the weekends.
Observing Recent Trends in Job Postings
The number of job postings dropped considerably in the United States and the Fifth District in March and April but showed signs of recovery in May. A look at the data reveals how labor demand has varied by types of jobs amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Hammer and the Scalpel: On the Economics of Indiscriminate versus Targeted Isolation Policies during Pandemics
We develop a simple dynamic economic model of epidemic transmission designed to be consistent with widely used SIR biological models of the transmission of epidemics, while incorporating economic benefits and costs as well. Our main finding is that targeted testing and isolation policies deliver large welfare gains relative to optimal policies when these tools are not used. Specifically, we find that when testing and isolation are not used, optimal policy delivers a welfare gain equivalent to a 0.6% permanent increase in consumption relative to no intervention. The welfare gain arises because ...