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The effects of employment on influenza rates

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  • Markowitz, Sara
  • Nesson, Erik
  • Robinson, Joshua J.

Abstract

The seasonal influenza virus afflicts millions of people in the U.S. population each year, imposing significant costs on those who fall ill, their families, employers, and the health care system. The flu is transmitted via droplet spread or close contact, and certain environments, such as schools or offices, promote transmission. In this paper, we examine whether increases in employment are associated with increased incidence of the flu. We use state-level data on the prevalence of the flu from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In our preferred specification, we find that a one percentage point increase in the employment rate increases the number of influenza related outpatient health care visits by 19%, and these effects are highly pronounced in the retail sector and healthcare sector, the sectors with the highest levels of interpersonal contact.

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  • Markowitz, Sara & Nesson, Erik & Robinson, Joshua J., 2019. "The effects of employment on influenza rates," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 286-295.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:34:y:2019:i:c:p:286-295
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ehb.2019.04.004
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    12. Kristian S. Blickle, 2020. "Pandemics Change Cities: Municipal Spending and Voter Extremism in Germany, 1918-1933," Staff Reports 921, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Influenza; Epidemic; Employment; Labor market; Health;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I0 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General
    • J0 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General

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