The transmission and incidence of COVID-19 infections differ markedly across areas in the U.S. Using daily infection rates at the county level, this paper explores how population density and the organization of the city correlate to the speed of transmission and shelter-in-place responses (staying home, avoiding travel). Population density is associated with higher transmission speeds in particular at the start of outbreaks. Density is also associated with stronger sheltering responses, but mostly in later phases of the outbreak. There is a considerable additional role of the urban form (i.e., public transport, work-from-home and local incomes), in transmission and sheltering. Over the course of the pandemic, workplace connections are increasingly less likely to predict infection, and phone movement shows that people avoid heavily infected areas. Altogether, this suggests that densely populated places are initially prone to faster viral spread, and later develop stronger sheltering responses. The considerable spatial differences in both the speed of transmission and the mobility responses to local infection could explain differences in the pandemic's toll across cities and counties.
Gerritse, M (2020), ‘Cities and COVID-19 infections: population density, transmission speeds and sheltering responses‘, COVID Economics 37, CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/covid-economics-issue-37#392514_392913_390559
Two decades after the SARS outbreak, Asia is confronted with COVID-19 which has caused a greater economic impact to the region. In this paper, using China and the ASEAN's experiences of SARS and COVID-19 as a case study, we aim to identify the economic impact of a pandemic that is associated with global production linkages. We construct a novel general equilibrium model of production networks with epidemiological dynamics. Calibrating the model with the OECD inter-country input-output tables for the pre-SARS and pre-COVID-19 periods, and controlling for disease dynamics across years, we find that, in the absence of policy intervention, greater importance of China in the global value chains is associated with greater economic impacts, both within China and in the ASEAN region.
George, A, C Li, J Limc and T Xie (2020), ‘Propagation of Epidemics' Economic Impacts via Production Networks: The Cases of China and ASEAN during SARS and COVID-19‘, COVID Economics 37, CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/covid-economics-issue-37#392514_392913_390560
Nonpharmaceutical interventions against the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in Germany included the cancellation of mass events (from March 8), closures of schools and child day care facilities (from March 16) as well as a â€œlockdownâ€ (from March 23). This study attempts to assess the effectiveness of these interventions in terms of revealing their impact on infections over time. Dates of infections were estimated from official German case data by incorporating the incubation period and an empirical reporting delay. Exponential growth models for infections and reproduction numbers were estimated and investigated with respect to change points in the time series. A significant decline of daily and cumulative infections as well as reproduction numbers is found at March 8, March 10 and March 3, respectively. Further declines and stabilizations are found in the end of March. There is also a change point in new infections at April 19, but daily infections still show a negative growth. From March 19, the reproduction numbers fluctuate on a level below one. The decline of infections in early March 2020 can be attributed to relatively small interventions and voluntary behavioural changes. Additional effects of later interventions cannot be detected clearly. Liberalizations of measures did not induce a re-increase of infections. Thus, the effectiveness of most German interventions remains questionable. Moreover, assessing of interventions is impeded by the estimation of true infection dates and the influence of test volume.
Wieland, T (2020), ‘Change points in the spread of COVID-19 question the effectiveness of nonpharmaceutical interventions in Germany‘, COVID Economics 37, CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/covid-economics-issue-37#392514_392913_390561
The COVID-19 pandemic has put the global economy under a scanner. India has also been impacted by the pandemic and as a result, policymakers have undertaken significant set of measures to address the challenge. In this context, using daily state-level data, we utilize the staggered timing of the implementation of lockdown to ascertain its impact on the number of Covid19 cases. Our analysis appears to suggest that notwithstanding the lockdown, the number of Covid19 cases increased by 80% and furthermore, there was a differential impact across states, depending on their extent of health preparedness. Robustness tests support these findings.
Ghosh, S (2020), ‘Lockdown, pandemics and quarantine: Assessing the Indian evidence‘, COVID Economics 37, CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/covid-economics-issue-37#392514_392913_390562
Information is an important policy tool for managing epidemics, but issues with data collection may hinder its effectiveness. Focusing on Covid-19 in Mexico, we ask whether delays in reporting deaths affect individualsâ€™ beliefs and behavior. Leveraging an online survey, we randomly provide information to respondents either accounting or not for delays in death reports. We find that not accounting for delays leads to a lower perceived risk of contagion and intention to comply with social distancing. An equilibrium model incorporating the endogenous behavioral response documented by our intervention illustrates the effect of reporting delays on the evolution of the epidemic
Gutierrez, E, A Rubli and T Tavares (2020), ‘Information and Behavioral Responses during a Pandemic: Evidence from Delays in Covid-19 Death Reports‘, COVID Economics 37, CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/covid-economics-issue-37#392514_392913_390563
The COVID-19, after hitting hard the developed regions of Europe and the United States, is now fast spreading in relatively less developed regions including the Latin America, South Asia and the African continent. In this paper, we examine the impact of socioeconomic conditions on the health outcomes by COVID-19 and the moderating role of government emergency measures on the relationship between socioeconomic conditions and the health outcomes by COVID-19. Using a panel dataset consisting of 9529 daily observations from 80 countries over the period from January 22 to May 20, 2020, we find that socioeconomic circumstances have strong negative association with COVID-19 confirmed cases and deaths per million people. Quantitatively, a one standard deviation improvement in socioeconomic conditions lowers COVID-19 confirmed cases and deaths per million people by one half. Next, with the help of interaction terms between socioeconomic conditions and government emergency policies, we find that stringent social distancing measures and generous income support programs help to lower the cases and deaths particularly in countries with poor socioeconomic conditions. These findings have important implications to design the right set of government policies to lower the lives losses in countries and regions with poor socioeconomic conditions.
Ashraf, B (2020), ‘Socioeconomic conditions, government interventions and health outcomes during COVID-19‘, COVID Economics 37, CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/covid-economics-issue-37#392514_392913_390564