IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp13227.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Occupational Exposure to Contagion and the Spread of COVID-19 in Europe

Author

Listed:
  • Lewandowski, Piotr

    (Institute for Structural Research (IBS))

Abstract

Social contacts are a key transmission channel of infectious diseases spread by the respiratory or close-contact route, such as COVID-19. There is no evidence, however, on the question of whether the nature and the organisation of work affect the spread of COVID-19 in different countries. I have developed a methodology to measure country-specific levels of occupational exposure to contagion driven by social contacts. I combined six indicators based on Occupation Information Network (O*NET) and the European Working Condition Survey (EWCS) data. I then applied them to 26 European countries, and found substantial cross-country differences in levels of exposure to contagion in comparable occupations. The resulting country-level measures of levels of exposure to contagion (excluding health professions) predict the growth in COVID-19 cases, and the number of deaths from COVID-19 in the early stage of pandemic (up to four weeks after the 100th case). The relationship between levels of occupational exposure to contagion and the spread of COVID-19 is particularly strong for workers aged 45-64. I found that 20-25% of the cross-country variance in numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths can be attributed to cross-country differences in levels of occupational exposure to contagion in European countries. My findings are robust to controlling for the stringency of containment policies, such as lockdowns and school closures. They are also driven by country-specific patterns of social contacts at work, rather than by occupational structures. Thus, I conclude that measuring workplace interactions may help to predict the next waves of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Suggested Citation

  • Lewandowski, Piotr, 2020. "Occupational Exposure to Contagion and the Spread of COVID-19 in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 13227, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp13227
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://docs.iza.org/dp13227.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Jérôme Adda, 2016. "Economic Activity and the Spread of Viral Diseases: Evidence from High Frequency Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 131(2), pages 891-941.
    3. Yun Qiu & Xi Chen & Wei Shi, 2020. "Impacts of social and economic factors on the transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in China," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 33(4), pages 1127-1172, October.
    4. Jonathan Morduch & Terry Sicular, 2002. "Rethinking Inequality Decomposition, With Evidence from Rural China," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(476), pages 93-106, January.
    5. Béland, Louis-Philippe & Brodeur, Abel & Wright, Taylor, 2020. "The Short-Term Economic Consequences of COVID-19: Exposure to Disease, Remote Work and Government Response," GLO Discussion Paper Series 524, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    6. Maarten Goos & Alan Manning & Anna Salomons, 2014. "Explaining Job Polarization: Routine-Biased Technological Change and Offshoring," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(8), pages 2509-2526, August.
    7. Joël Mossong & Niel Hens & Mark Jit & Philippe Beutels & Kari Auranen & Rafael Mikolajczyk & Marco Massari & Stefania Salmaso & Gianpaolo Scalia Tomba & Jacco Wallinga & Janneke Heijne & Malgorzata Sa, 2008. "Social Contacts and Mixing Patterns Relevant to the Spread of Infectious Diseases," PLOS Medicine, Public Library of Science, vol. 5(3), pages 1-1, March.
    8. Wojciech Hardy & Roma Keister & Piotr Lewandowski, 2018. "Educational upgrading, structural change and the task composition of jobs in Europe," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 26(2), pages 201-231, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Brandily, Paul & Brébion, Clément & Briole, Simon & Khoury, Laura, 2020. "A Poorly Understood Disease? The Unequal Distribution of Excess Mortality Due to COVID-19 Across French Municipalities," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 15/2020, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics.
    2. Gaetano Basso & Tito Boeri & Alessandro Caiumi & Marco Paccagnella, 2020. "The new hazardous jobs and worker reallocation," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 247, OECD Publishing.
    3. Bonin, Holger & Eichhorst, Werner & Kaczynska, Jennifer & Kümmerling, Angelika & Rinne, Ulf & Scholten, Annika & Steffes, Susanne, 2020. "Verbreitung und Auswirkungen von mobiler Arbeit und Homeoffice," IZA Research Reports 99, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Zuzanna Kowalik & Piotr Lewandowski, 2021. "The gender gap in aversion to COVID-19 exposure: Evidence from professional tennis," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 16(3), pages 1-10, March.
    5. Matthew A Cole & Ceren Ozgen & Eric Strobl, 2020. "Air Pollution Exposure and Covid-19," Discussion Papers 20-13, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
    6. Paul Brandily & Clément Brébion & Simon Briole & Laura Khoury, 2021. "A Poorly Understood Disease? The Impact of COVID-19 on the Income Gradient in Mortality over the Course of the Pandemic," Working Papers halshs-02895908, HAL.
    7. Jill Furzer & Boriana Miloucheva, 2020. "The Long Arm of the Clean Air Act: Pollution Abatement and COVID-19 Racial Disparities," Working Papers tecipa-668, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    8. Krumel, Thomas & Goodrich, Corey, 2021. "COVID-19 Working Paper: Meatpacking Working Conditions and the Spread of COVID-19," USDA Miscellaneous 315417, United States Department of Agriculture.
    9. Crowley, Frank & Daly, Hannah & Doran, Justin & Ryan, Geraldine & Caulfield, Brian, 2021. "The impact of labour market disruptions and transport choice on the environment during COVID-19," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 185-195.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Pawel Dlotko & Simon Rudkin, 2020. "Visualising the Evolution of English Covid-19 Cases with Topological Data Analysis Ball Mapper," Papers 2004.03282, arXiv.org, revised Apr 2020.
    2. Ján Palguta & René Levínský & Samuel Škoda, 2022. "Do elections accelerate the COVID-19 pandemic?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 35(1), pages 197-240, January.
    3. Lewandowski, Piotr & Park, Albert & Schotte, Simone, 2020. "The Global Distribution of Routine and Non-Routine Work," IZA Discussion Papers 13384, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Mauro Caselli & Andrea Fracasso & Sergio Scicchitano, 2020. "From the lockdown to the new normal: An analysis of the limitations to individual mobility in Italy following the Covid-19 crisis," Discussion Paper series in Regional Science & Economic Geography 2020-07, Gran Sasso Science Institute, Social Sciences, revised Oct 2020.
    5. Carbonero, Francesco & Scicchitano, Sergio, 2021. "Labour and technology at the time of Covid-19. Can artificial intelligence mitigate the need for proximity?," GLO Discussion Paper Series 765, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    6. Aleksandra Parteka & Joanna Wolszczak-Derlacz, 2020. "Wage response to global production links: evidence for workers from 28 European countries (2005–2014)," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 156(4), pages 769-801, November.
    7. Nicholas W. Papageorge & Matthew V. Zahn & Michèle Belot & Eline Broek-Altenburg & Syngjoo Choi & Julian C. Jamison & Egon Tripodi, 2021. "Socio-demographic factors associated with self-protecting behavior during the Covid-19 pandemic," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 34(2), pages 691-738, April.
    8. Houštecká, Anna & Koh, Dongya & Santaeulàlia-Llopis, Raül, 2021. "Contagion at work: Occupations, industries and human contact," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 200(C).
    9. Chen, Simiao & Jin, Zhangfeng & Bloom, David E., 2020. "Act Early to Prevent Infections and Save Lives: Causal Impact of Diagnostic Efficiency on the COVID-19 Pandemic," IZA Discussion Papers 13749, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. Yun Qiu & Xi Chen & Wei Shi, 2020. "Impacts of social and economic factors on the transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in China," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 33(4), pages 1127-1172, October.
    11. Eiji Yamamura & Yoshiro Tsustsui, 2021. "School closures and mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 34(4), pages 1261-1298, October.
    12. Klaus F. Zimmermann & Gokhan Karabulut & Mehmet Huseyin Bilgin & Asli Cansin Doker, 2020. "Inter‐country distancing, globalisation and the coronavirus pandemic," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(6), pages 1484-1498, June.
    13. Syed Abul, Basher & A.K. Enamul, Haque, 2020. "Public Policy Lessons from the Covid-19 Outbreak: How to Deal with it in the Post-Pandemic World?," MPRA Paper 104337, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Lewandowski, Piotr & Keister, Roma & Hardy, Wojciech & Górka, Szymon, 2020. "Ageing of routine jobs in Europe," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 44(4).
    15. Rica, Sara De La & Gortazar, Lucas & Lewandowski, Piotr, 2020. "Job Tasks and Wages in Developed Countries: Evidence from PIAAC," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(C).
    16. Claudio Neidhöfer & Guido Neidhöfer, 2020. "The Effectiveness of School Closures and Other Pre-Lockdown COVID-19 Mitigation Strategies in Argentina, Italy, and South Korea," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0266, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    17. Syed Abul Basher & A. K. Enamul Haque, 2021. "Public policy lessons from the Covid-19 outbreak: How to deal with it in the post-pandemic world?," Journal of Social and Economic Development, Springer;Institute for Social and Economic Change, vol. 23(2), pages 234-247, September.
    18. David E. Bloom & Michael Kuhn & Klaus Prettner, 2020. "Modern Infectious Diseases: Macroeconomic Impacts and Policy Responses," NBER Working Papers 27757, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Dion Bongaerts & Francesco Mazzola & Wolf Wagner, 2021. "Closed for business: The mortality impact of business closures during the Covid-19 pandemic," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 16(5), pages 1-17, May.
    20. Leonardo Baccini & Abel Brodeur & Stephen Weymouth, 2021. "The COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 US presidential election," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 34(2), pages 739-767, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    COVID-19; contagion; exposure to disease; occupations; organisation of work;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • J44 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Professional Labor Markets and Occupations

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp13227. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/izaaade.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Holger Hinte (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/izaaade.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.