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The Price of COVID-19 Risk in a Public University


  • Duha Altindag
  • Samuel Cole
  • R. Alan Seals Jr


We study the allocation of and compensation for occupational COVID-19 risk at Auburn University, a large public university in the U.S. In Spring 2021, approximately half of the face-to-face classes had enrollments above the legal capacity allowed by a public health order, which followed CDC social distancing guidelines. We find lower-ranked graduate student teaching assistants and adjunct instructors were systematically recruited to deliver riskier classes. Using an IV strategy in which teaching risk is shifted by classroom features (geometry and furniture), we show instructors who taught at least one risky class earned $7,400 more than those who did not.

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  • Duha Altindag & Samuel Cole & R. Alan Seals Jr, 2022. "The Price of COVID-19 Risk in a Public University," Papers 2204.00894,
  • Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:2204.00894

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