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Economics and Epidemics: Evidence from an Estimated Spatial Econ-SIR Model

Author

Listed:
  • Bognanni, Mark

    (Federal Reserve Board of Governors)

  • Hanley, Doug

    (University of Pittsburgh)

  • Kolliner, Daniel

    (University of Maryland)

  • Mitman, Kurt

    (Stockholm University)

Abstract

Economic analysis of effective policies for managing epidemics requires an integrated economic and epidemiological approach. We develop and estimate a spatial, micro-founded model of the joint evolution of economic variables and the spread of an epidemic. We empirically discipline the model using new U.S. county-level data on health, mobility, employment outcomes, and non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) at a daily frequency. Absent policy or medical interventions, the model predicts an initial period of exponential growth in new cases, followed by a protracted period of roughly constant case levels and reduced economic activity. Nevertheless, if vaccine development proved impossible, and suppression cannot entirely eradicate the disease, a utilitarian policymaker cannot improve significantly over the laissez-faire equilibrium by using lockdowns. Conversely, if a vaccine will arrive within two years, NPIs can improve upon the laissez-faire outcome by dramatically decreasing the number of infectious agents and keeping infections low until vaccine arrival. Mitigation measures that reduce viral transmission (e.g., mask-wearing) both reduce the virus's spread and increase economic activity.

Suggested Citation

  • Bognanni, Mark & Hanley, Doug & Kolliner, Daniel & Mitman, Kurt, 2020. "Economics and Epidemics: Evidence from an Estimated Spatial Econ-SIR Model," IZA Discussion Papers 13797, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp13797
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Lazebnik, Teddy & Shami, Labib & Bunimovich-Mendrazitsky, Svetlana, 2023. "Intervention policy influence on the effect of epidemiological crisis on industry-level production through input–output networks," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 87(PA).
    2. Makris, M. & Toxvaerd, F., 2020. "Great Expectations: Social Distancing in Anticipation of Pharmaceutical Innovations," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 2097, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    3. Jonas E. Arias & Jesús Fernández-Villaverde & Juan F. Rubio-Ramírez & Minchul Shin, 2021. "Bayesian Estimation of Epidemiological Models: Methods, Causality, and Policy Trade-Offs," CESifo Working Paper Series 8977, CESifo.
    4. Glover, Andrew & Heathcote, Jonathan & Krueger, Dirk, 2022. "Optimal age-Based vaccination and economic mitigation policies for the second phase of the covid-19 pandemic," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 140(C).
    5. Matteo Bizzarri & Fabrizio Panebianco & Paolo Pin, 2023. "Homophily and infections: static and dynamic effects," Papers 2304.11934, arXiv.org.
    6. Houštecká, Anna & Koh, Dongya & Santaeulàlia-Llopis, Raül, 2021. "Contagion at work: Occupations, industries and human contact," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 200(C).
    7. Jonas E. Arias & Jesús Fernández-Villaverde & Juan F. Rubio-Ramirez & Minchul Shin, 2021. "Bayesian Estimation of Epidemiological Models: Methods, Causality, and Policy Trade-Offs," Working Papers 21-18, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    8. Brotherhood, Luiz & Cavalcanti, Tiago & Da Mata, Daniel & Santos, Cezar, 2022. "Slums and pandemics," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 157(C).
    9. Mitman, Kurt & Rabinovich, Stanislav, 2021. "Whether, when and how to extend unemployment benefits: Theory and application to COVID-19," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 200(C).
    10. Sewon Hur, 2023. "The Distributional Effects Of Covid‐19 And Optimal Mitigation Policies," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 64(1), pages 261-294, February.
    11. Lazebnik, Teddy, 2023. "Computational applications of extended SIR models: A review focused on airborne pandemics," Ecological Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 483(C).
    12. Raül Santaeulàlia-Llopis, 2021. "Economic Activity and Public Health Policy: A Note," Working Papers 1284, Barcelona School of Economics.
    13. Hakan Yilmazkuday, 2021. "Welfare Costs of Travel Reductions within the U.S. due to COVID-19," Working Papers 2114, Florida International University, Department of Economics.
    14. Ma, Xiangyu & Zhou, Huijie & Li, Zhiyi, 2021. "On the resilience of modern power systems: A complex network perspective," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 152(C).
    15. Jonas E. Arias & Jesús Fernández-Villaverde & Juan Rubio Ramírez & Minchul Shin, 2021. "The Causal Effects of Lockdown Policies on Health and Macroeconomic Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 28617, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    epidemics; economic policy; COVID-19; Econ-SIR;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E1 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models
    • H0 - Public Economics - - General
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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