Research on COVID-19
Various NBER affiliates have been producing insightful research on the impacts of COVID-19 since the pandemic started last year. Many of these studies are also directly relevant for retirement and disability policy. In the links below, researchers discuss their particularly pertinent work on how COVID has affected such issues as gender and racial disparities and labor market dynamics.
Here, Stefania Albanesi discusses why employment levels among women, particularly those with young children, have fallen: women account for a disproportionate share of the workers in the industries that have been most affected by the pandemic-induced economic downturn, and they have met a greater share of the increased demand for at-home child care that resulted from school and daycare center closures.
Maria Polyakova reviews research that shows that COVID-19 infections and deaths have disproportionately impacted minority populations: excess mortality was nearly four times greater for Blacks, and three times greater for Hispanics and Native Americans, than for non-Hispanic Whites.
Francesco Bianchi elaborates on research findings that suggest that the pandemic-related unemployment shock will raise mortality rates and reduce life expectancy by about 0.5 percent for the overall US population; the increase in mortality rates is likely to be most pronounced for African Americans and women, although over the long term, mortality for White men will rise substantially.
David Autor discusses the possible long-run impacts of the pandemic on the US labor market, including an increase in automation, a reallocation of sales towards larger firms, and a change in the demand for some services, which could mitigate the recent trend of ongoing wage pressure in low-paid service jobs.
Marcella Alsan summarizes research findings that suggest that increasing the congruence between the messenger and the recipient and acknowledging past shortcomings in the delivery of medical care to minority groups can boost vaccine demand.