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Firm behavior during an epidemic

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  • Brotherhood, Luiz
  • Jerbashian, Vahagn

Abstract

We derive a model in which firms operate in an epidemic environment and internalize infections among their employees in the workplace. The model is calibrated to fit the properties of the Covid-19 epidemic. We show that firms have incentives to fight against infections and can do so very effectively by increasing teleworking and rotating employees between on-site work, teleworking, and leave. Subsidies to sick leave reduce the cost of sick workers and raise workplace infections. Furlough policies are successful in reducing infections and saving lives. Firms delay and weaken the fight against infections during economic downturns.

Suggested Citation

  • Brotherhood, Luiz & Jerbashian, Vahagn, 2020. "Firm behavior during an epidemic," GLO Discussion Paper Series 629, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:629
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    RePEc Biblio mentions

    As found on the RePEc Biblio, the curated bibliography for Economics:
    1. > Economics of Welfare > Health Economics > Economics of Pandemics > Policy responses

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    Cited by:

    1. Alejandro Fernández-Cerezo & Beatriz Gonzalez & Mario Izquierdo Peinado & Enrique Moral-Benito, 2023. "Firm-level heterogeneity in the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 55(42), pages 4946-4974, September.
    2. Yinon Bar-On & Tatiana Baron & Ofer Cornfeld & Eran Yashiv, 2023. "When to Lock, Not Whom: Managing Epidemics Using Time-Based Restrictions," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 51, pages 292-321, December.
    3. Jerbashian, Vahagn & Vilalta-Bufi, Montserrat, 2020. "The Impact of ICT on Working from Home: Evidence from EU Countries," GLO Discussion Paper Series 719, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    4. Vahagn Jerbashian & Montserrat Vilalta-Bufí, 2022. "Working from home, pandemic, occupations, industries," UB School of Economics Working Papers 2022/427, University of Barcelona School of Economics.
    5. Yinon Bar-On & Tatiana Baron & Ofer Cornfeld & Eran Yashiv, 2023. "When to Lock, Not Whom: Managing Epidemics Using Time-Based Restrictions," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 51, pages 292-321, December.
    6. Yinon Bar-On & Tatiana Baron & Ofer Cornfeld & Eran Yashiv, 2023. "When to Lock, Not Whom: Managing Epidemics Using Time-Based Restrictions," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 51, pages 292-321, December.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Covid-19; epidemic; firm behavior; on-site work; policies; teleworking;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques
    • D20 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - General
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production

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