Age-Related Disparities in COVID-19 Fatalities
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a particularly heavy toll on the elderly in the United States and other nations, leading to calls to target lock-down policies and other pandemic responses to this group. The age profile of the infection fatality rate (IFR) for COVID-19 is a critical input in designing such policies. Andrew Levin and his collaborators have combined data from a number of studies that measure the prevalence of COIVD-19 in various populations with data on COVID-19 fatalities to estimate age-specific IFRs (27597). Their estimates suggest very low IFRs at younger ages, and sharply-rising values at older ages: 1.3% at age 65 and 14% at age 85. Levin summarizes the findings in the short video below.
Eleven NBER working papers distributed this week examine the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and various policy responses to it. Three papers analyze labor market aspects of the pandemic. One recognizes the distinction between unemployed workers who have jobs to return to, and those who do not, in the context of the pandemic (27886). Another investigates talent flows to start-up firms since the COVID-19 outbreak began (27907), and a third measures the trade-offs between lost productivity from work-from-home and the risk of infection in various occupations (27908). Two studies relate to the testing process for vaccines and other treatments. One explores the costs and benefits of different strategies for vaccine testing (27882), while another examines various metrics for judging efficacy in clinical trials (27895). Two studies analyze the impact of the pandemic in Canada, with one describing the distribution of infection risk in the population (27881) and another the impact of mask-wearing mandates and other public policies in slowing virus spread (27891). One study places the coordinated pandemic response of central banks around the world in a broad historical context (27898). Another surveys private equity managers to understand how COVID-19 has affected their activities and their portfolio performance (27889). Two studies examine debt market dynamics following the pandemic. One summarizes the impact of the pandemic on the sovereign borrowing costs of emerging market economies (27903), while another explores the links between debt reductions, government subsidies, and defaults (27883).
More than 270 NBER working papers have presented pandemic-related research. These papers are open access and have been collected for easy reference. Like all NBER papers, they are circulated for discussion and comment, and have not been peer-reviewed. View them in reverse chronological order or by topic area.