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Jel Classification:I18 

Working Paper
Has COVID Changed Consumer Payment Behavior?

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused large changes in consumer spending, including how people make their payments. We use data from a nationally representative survey of U.S. consumers collected before COVID in 2018 and 2019 and during COVID in 2020 to analyze changes in consumer payment behavior during the pandemic. We find that compared with their payment behavior in 2019, consumers had shifted some of their purchases from in person to online by fall 2020, significantly lowered their use of cash for purchases, and shifted their person-to-person (P2P) payments away from paper (cash and checks). ...
Working Papers , Paper 21-12

Working Paper
Disparities and Mitigation Behavior during COVID-19

This paper uses a unique large-scale survey administered in April 2020 to assess disparities on several dimensions of wellbeing under rising COVID-19 infections and mitigation restrictions in the US. The survey includes three modules designed to assess different dimensions of well-being in parallel: physical health, mental and social health, and economic and financial security. The survey is unique among early COVID-19 data efforts in that provides insight on diverse dimensions of wellbeing and for subnational geographies. I find dramatic declines in wellbeing from pre-COVID baseline measures ...
Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute Working Papers , Paper 32

Working Paper
Closing the Gap: The Impact of the Medicaid Primary Care Rate Increase on Access and Health

The difficulties that Medicaid beneficiaries face accessing medical care are often attributed to the program?s low reimbursement rates relative to other payers. There is little evidence, however, as to the actual effects of Medicaid payment rates for providers on access and health outcomes for beneficiaries. In this paper, we exploit time-series variation in Medicaid reimbursement rates primarily driven by the Medicaid fee bump?a provision of the Affordable Care Act mandating that states raise Medicaid payments to match Medicare rates for primary care visits for 2013 and 2014?to quantify the ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2017-10

Working Paper
Rising Geographic Disparities in US Mortality

The 21st century has been a period of rising inequality in both income and health. In this study, we find that geographic inequality in mortality for midlife Americans increased by about 70 percent from 1992 to 2016. This was not simply because states such as New York or California benefited from having a high fraction of college-educated residents who enjoyed the largest health gains during the last several decades. Nor was higher dispersion in mortality caused entirely by the increasing importance of “deaths of despair,” or by rising spatial income inequality during the same period. ...
Working Papers , Paper 21-9

Report
Can Treatment with Medications for Opioid Use Disorder Improve Employment Prospects? Evidence from Rhode Island Medicaid Enrollees

The nation’s long-standing crisis of opioid abuse intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic, with opioid-related deaths rising to nearly 81,000 in 2021, an increase of more than 60 percent from just two years earlier. Also during the pandemic, the labor force participation rate in the United States fell precipitously, and as of September 2022 it remained depressed by more than a full percentage point relative to its February 2020 level despite record numbers of job openings in 2021 and 2022. The unfortunate confluence of labor shortages and record-setting opioid mortality highlights the need ...
New England Public Policy Center Research Report , Paper 22-3

Working Paper
Has COVID Reversed Gentrification in Major U.S. Cities? An Empirical Examination of Residential Mobility in Gentrifying Neighborhoods During the COVID-19 Crisis

This paper examines whether neighborhoods that had been gentrifying lost their appeal during the pandemic because of COVID-induced health risks and increased work-from-home arrangements. By following the mobility pattern of residents in gentrifying neighborhoods in 39 major U.S. cities, we note a larger increase of 1.2 percentage points in the outmigration rate from gentrifying neighborhoods by the end of 2021, relative to nongentrifying ones, with out-of-city moves accounting for over 71 percent of the increased flight. The share of out-of-city moves into gentrifying neighborhoods also ...
Working Papers , Paper 22-20

Report
The Spread of COVID-19 and the BCG Vaccine: A Natural Experiment in Reunified Germany

As COVID-19 has spread across the globe, several observers noticed that countries still administering an old vaccine against tuberculosis—the BCG vaccine—have had fewer COVID-19 cases and deaths per capita in the early stages of the outbreak. This paper uses a geographic regression discontinuity analysis to study whether and how COVID-19 prevalence changes discontinuously at the old border between West Germany and East Germany. The border used to separate two countries with very different vaccination policies during the Cold War era. We provide formal evidence that there is indeed a ...
Staff Reports , Paper 926

Working Paper
Losing insurance and psychiatric hospitalizations

We study the effect of losing insurance on psychiatric – mental health disorder (MHD) and substance use disorder (SUD) – hospital-based care. Psychiatric disorders cost the U.S. over $1T each year and hospitalizations provide important and valuable care for patients with these disorders. We use variation in public insurance coverage (Medicaid) eligibility offered by a large-scale and unexpected disenrollment in the state of Tennessee in 2005 that lead to 190,000 individuals losing their insurance. Medicaid enrollees are at elevated risk for psychiatric disorders. Following the ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2022-069

Working Paper
The Epidemic Effect: Epidemics, Institutions and Human Capital Development

Epidemics can negatively affect economic development unless they are mitigated by global governance institutions. We examine the effects of sudden exposure to epidemics on human capital outcomes using evidence from the African meningitis belt. Meningitis shocks reduce child health outcomes, particularly when the World Health Organization (WHO) does not declare an epidemic year. These effects are reversed when the WHO declares an epidemic year. Children born in meningitis shock areas in a year when an epidemic is declared are 10 percentage points (pp) less stunted and 8.2 pp less underweight ...
Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute Working Papers , Paper 076

Report
Pandemic Control in ECON-EPI Networks

We develop an ECON-EPI network model to evaluate policies designed to improve health and economic outcomes during a pandemic. Relative to the standard epidemiological SIR set-up, we explicitly model social contacts among individuals and allow for heterogeneity in their number and stability. In addition, we embed the network in a structural economic model describing how contacts generate economic activity. We calibrate it to the New York metro area during the 2020 COVID-19 crisis and show three main results. First, the ECON-EPI network implies patterns of infections that better match the data ...
Staff Report , Paper 609

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