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Pandemics Through the Lens of Occupations

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  • Anand Chopra
  • Michael B. Devereux
  • Amartya Lahiri

Abstract

We outline a macro-pandemic model where individuals can select into working from home or in the market. Market work increases the risk of infection. Occupations differ in the ease of substitution between market and home work, and in the risk of infection. We examine the evo- lution of a pandemic in the model as well as its macroeconomic and distributional consequences. The model is calibrated to British Columbian data to examine the implications of shutting down different industries by linking industries to occupations. We find that endogenous choice to self- isolate is key: it reduces the peak infection rate by 2 percentage points but reduces the trough consumption level by 4 percentage points, even without policy mandated lockdowns. The model also produces widening consumption inequality, a fact that has characterized COVID-19.

Suggested Citation

  • Anand Chopra & Michael B. Devereux & Amartya Lahiri, 2020. "Pandemics Through the Lens of Occupations," NBER Working Papers 27841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:27841
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    1. > Economics of Welfare > Health Economics > Economics of Pandemics > Consequences > Macroeconomic > Labor market

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    1. Giovanni Gallipoli & Christos A. Makridis, 2022. "Sectoral digital intensity and GDP growth after a large employment shock: A simple extrapolation exercise," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 55(S1), pages 446-479, February.

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    JEL classification:

    • E0 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General
    • I0 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General

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