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COVID-19, Stay-at-Home Orders and Employment: Evidence from CPS Data

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  • Beland, Louis-Philippe
  • Brodeur, Abel
  • Wright, Taylor

Abstract

In this paper, we examine the short-term consequences of COVID-19 and evaluate the impacts of stay-at-home orders on employment and wages in the United States. Guided by a pre-analysis plan, we document that COVID-19 increased the unemployment rate, decreased hours of work and labor force participation, especially for younger workers, non-white, not married and less-educated workers. We built four indexes (exposure to disease, proximity to coworkers, work remotely and critical workers) to study the impact of COVID-19. We find that workers that can work remotely are significantly less likely to have their labor market outcomes affected, while workers working in proximity to coworkers are more affected. The unemployment effects are significantly larger for states that implemented stay-at-home orders. Our estimates suggest that, as of early May, these policies increased unemployment by nearly 4 percentage points, but reduced COVID-19 cases by 186,600-311,000, and deaths by 17,851-23,325. We apply our estimates to compute lost income ($18.6-$21.4 billion), reduced government income tax revenues ($3.4-$5.5 billion), increased unemployment insurance benefit payments ($5-$5.8 billion) and reduced hospital costs ($0.7-$1.2 billion). Despite the jobs lost, age adjusted value of statistical life suggests that stay-at-home orders are cost effective.

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  • Beland, Louis-Philippe & Brodeur, Abel & Wright, Taylor, 2020. "COVID-19, Stay-at-Home Orders and Employment: Evidence from CPS Data," GLO Discussion Paper Series 559, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:559
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    Cited by:

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    2. Brodeur, Abel & Grigoryeva, Idaliya & Kattan, Lamis, 2020. "Stay-At-Home Orders, Social Distancing and Trust," IZA Discussion Papers 13234, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Vanda Almeida & Salvador Barrios & Michael Christl & Silvia De Poli & Alberto Tumino & Wouter van der Wielen, 2020. "Households' income and the cushioning effect of fiscal policy measures during the Great Lockdown," JRC Working Papers on Taxation & Structural Reforms 2020-06, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    4. Andrew I. Friedson & Drew McNichols & Joseph J. Sabia & Dhaval Dave, 2021. "Shelter‐In‐Place Orders And Public Health: Evidence From California During The Covid‐19 Pandemic," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 40(1), pages 258-283, December.
    5. 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.
    6. Guven, Cahit & Sotirakopoulos, Panagiotis & Ulker, Aydogan, 2020. "Short-term Labour Market Effects of COVID-19 and the Associated National Lockdown in Australia: Evidence from Longitudinal Labour Force Survey," GLO Discussion Paper Series 635, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    7. Barnes, Stephen R. & Beland, Louis-Philippe & Huh, Jason & Kim, Dongwoo, 2020. "The Effect of COVID-19 Lockdown on Mobility and Traffic Accidents: Evidence from Louisiana," GLO Discussion Paper Series 616, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    8. Beland, Louis-Philippe & Fakorede, Oluwatobi & Mikola, Derek, 2020. "The Short-Term Effect of COVID-19 on Self-Employed Workers in Canada," GLO Discussion Paper Series 585, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    9. Beland, Louis-Philippe & Brodeur, Abel & Haddad, Joanne & Mikola, Derek, 2020. "Covid-19, Family Stress and Domestic Violence: Remote Work, Isolation and Bargaining Power," GLO Discussion Paper Series 571, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    10. Armanda Cetrulo & Dario Guarascio & Maria Enrica Virgillito, 2020. "Working from home and the explosion of enduring divides: income, employment and safety risks," LEM Papers Series 2020/38, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    11. Hakan Yilmazkuday, 2020. "Unequal unemployment effects of COVID-19 and monetary policy across U.S. States," Journal of Behavioral Economics for Policy, Society for the Advancement of Behavioral Economics (SABE), vol. 4(S3), pages 45-53, December.
    12. Adler, Matthew, 2020. "What should we spend to save lives in a pandemic? A critique of the value of statistical life," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 105283, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    13. Louis-Philippe Beland & Abel Brodeur & Derek Mikola & Taylor Wright, 2020. "COVID-19, Occupation Tasks and Mental Health in Canada," Carleton Economic Papers 20-07, Carleton University, Department of Economics, revised 30 Jun 2020.
    14. Francisco Cabrera-Hernández & Marí­a Padilla-Romo, 2020. "Hidden Violence: How COVID-19 School Closures Reduced the Reporting of Child Maltreatment," Working Papers 2020-02, University of Tennessee, Department of Economics.
    15. Nam, Minhyuk & Lee, Soohyung, 2021. "COVID-19 and Employment in South Korea: Trends and Comparison with the 2008 Financial Crisis," IZA Discussion Papers 14101, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    16. Ashraf Elsafty & Ahmed Elzeftawy, 2021. "The New Era of Digital Transformation and COVID-19 Effect on The Employment in Mobile Operators in Egypt," Business and Management Studies, Redfame publishing, vol. 7(1), pages 74-99, March.
    17. Mario J. Crucini & Oscar O'Flaherty, 2020. "Stay-at-Home Orders in a Fiscal Union," NBER Working Papers 28182, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Brodeur, Abel & Cook, Nikolai & Wright, Taylor, 2021. "On the effects of COVID-19 safer-at-home policies on social distancing, car crashes and pollution," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 106(C).
    19. Viral V. Acharya & Timothy Johnson & Suresh Sundaresan & Steven Zheng, 2020. "The Value of a Cure: An Asset Pricing Perspective," NBER Working Papers 28127, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Giovanni Gallo & Michele Raitano, 2020. "SOS incomes: Simulated effects of COVID-19 and emergency benefits on individual and household income distribution in Italy," Working Papers 566, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    21. Marcelo Arbex & Michael Batu & Sidney Caetano, 2020. "Stay At Home! Macroeconomic Effects of Pandemic-Induced Job Separation Shocks," Working Papers 2002, University of Windsor, Department of Economics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    COVID-19; unemployment; wages; remote work; exposure to disease; essential workers; stay-at-home orders; lockdown;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure

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