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Keywords:social distancing 

Working Paper
Work from Home After the COVID-19 Outbreak

Based on rich novel survey data, we document that 35.2 percent of the US workforce worked entirely from home in May 2020, up from 8.2 percent in February. Highly educated, high-income and white workers were more likely to shift to working from home and maintain employment following the pandemic. Individuals working from home daily before the pandemic lost employment at similar rates as daily commuters. This suggests that, apart from the potential for home-based work, demand conditions also mattered for job losses. We find that 71.7 percent of workers that could work from home effectively did ...
Working Papers , Paper 2017

Working Paper
Weather, Social Distancing, and the Spread of COVID-19

Using high-frequency panel data for U.S. counties, I estimate the full dynamic response of COVID-19 cases and deaths to exogenous movements in mobility and weather. I find several important results. First, weather and mobility are highly correlated and thus omitting either factor when studying the COVID-19 effects of the other is likely to result in substantial omitted variable bias. Second, temperature is found to have a negative and significant effect on future COVID-19 cases and deaths, though the estimated effect is sensitive to which measure of mobility is included in the regression. ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2020-23

Working Paper
Voluntary and Mandatory Social Distancing: Evidence on COVID-19 Exposure Rates from Chinese Provinces and Selected Countries

This paper considers a modification of the standard Susceptible-Infected-Recovered (SIR) model of epidemics that allows for different degrees of compulsory as well as voluntary social distancing. It is shown that the fraction of the population that self-isolates varies with the perceived probability of contracting the disease. Implications of social distancing both on the epidemic and recession curves are investigated and their trade off is simulated under a number of different social distancing and economic participation scenarios. We show that mandating social distancing is very effective ...
Globalization Institute Working Papers , Paper 382

Working Paper
Work from Home After the COVID-19 Outbreak

Based on rich novel survey data on almost 5,000 working age adults, we document that 35.2 percent of the workforce worked entirely from home in May 2020, up from 8.2 percent in February 2020. Highly educated, high-income and white individuals were much more likely to shift to remote work and to maintain employment following the virus outbreak. Using available estimates of the potential number of home-based workers suggests that a large majority (71.7 percent) of U.S. workers that could work from home, effectively did so in May. We provide some evidence indicating that apart from the potential ...
Working Papers , Paper 2017

Discussion Paper
Understanding the Racial and Income Gap in COVID-19: Social Distancing, Pollution, and Demographics

This is the third post in a series looking to explain the gap in COVID-19 intensity by race and by income. In the first two posts, we have investigated whether comorbidities, uninsurance, hospital resources, and home and transit crowding help explain the income and minority gaps. Here, we continue our investigation by looking at three additional potential channels: the fraction of elderly people, pollution, and social distancing at the beginning of the pandemic in the county. We aim to understand whether these three factors affect overall COVID-19 intensity, whether the income and racial gaps ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20210112c

Journal Article
Should Social Distancing Be Mandatory during a Pandemic?

An externality is a cost or benefit arising from an individual’s or group’s actions on those who had no say—and it’s central to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Regional Economist , Volume 28 , Issue 4

Learning from Experience: Why Nations May Have Responded Differently to COVID-19

Countries affected by the SARS pandemic in 2002-03 appear to have responded to COVID-19 more quickly and effectively with tests and mobility restrictions.
On the Economy

Discussion Paper
Impacts of COVID-19: Mitigation Efforts versus Herd Immunity

The rapid spread of COVID-19 is having devastating effects on the global economy. With death curves beginning to bend, governments will soon need to determine when and how to relax lockdown measures. The crucial question is: what are the public health consequences of reopening the economy? In this article, we argue that the observed decline in daily deaths could be due to two scenarios: social distancing measures and herd immunity. Both the widely used SIR model and the data collected thus far cannot distinguish these two scenarios. Such an identification problem generates a large degree of ...
Policy Hub , Paper 2020-3

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

Working Paper
COVID-19 Time-Varying Reproduction Numbers Worldwide: An Empirical Analysis of Mandatory and Voluntary Social Distancing

This paper estimates time-varying COVID-19 reproduction numbers worldwide solely based on the number of reported infected cases, allowing for under-reporting. Estimation is based on a moment condition that can be derived from an agent-based stochastic network model of COVID-19 transmission. The outcomes in terms of the reproduction number and the trajectory of per-capita cases through the end of 2020 are very diverse. The reproduction number depends on the transmission rate and the proportion of susceptible population, or the herd immunity effect. Changes in the transmission rate depend on ...
Globalization Institute Working Papers , Paper 407

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