Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this online conference.

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The last speaker of each session is the session chair. The discussant is always the following speaker, with the first speaker being the discussant of the last paper. Each paper has a 22-minutes-block in all sessions. There should be 15 minutes and no more than 18 minutes for the presenter. The discussion is then started by the discussant. Please note that the role of the discussant is different compared to previous years: The discussant has only 1-2 minutes and s/he is not allowed to give a lengthy summary of the paper together with comprehensive comments. Instead, her/his task is to raise one single question/comment and, in doing so, start the general discussion! All participants are asked to be strict in timing to allow people to change sessions during the general discussion. For a (rare) session with less papers in the session than the time slot allows, stick to the congress schedule and use 22 minutes per presentation to allow listeners to smoothly change between sessions.

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Please note that all times are shown in the time zone of the conference. The current conference time is: 2nd Dec 2021, 12:50:57pm GMT

Session Overview
A01: COVID and Health
Wednesday, 18/Aug/2021:
10:45am - 12:15pm

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10:45am - 11:07am

Food Insecurity in the US During the Pandemic: What Can We Learn from Real-time Data?

Sara Ayllón, Samuel Lado

University of Girona, Spain

We study the potential effect of the declaration of the state of emergency, the beginning and end of the stay-at-home orders, and the Economic Impact (one-time) Payments on food insecurity in the United States during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic. We use daily data from Google Trends for the search term "foodbank" and document the development of a hunger crisis as indicated by the number of individuals needing to locate a food pantry through the internet. The demand of charitable food decreases once families start receiving the stimulus payments but, mostly, once the economic activity resumes with the lifting of the lockdown orders. Our estimates indicate that the increased need of emergency help among vulnerable families lasted at least ten weeks during the first wave of the pandemic and we argue that real-time data can be useful to predict such urgency.

Ayllón-Food Insecurity in the US During the Pandemic-446.pdf

11:07am - 11:30am

Living at the Peak: Health and Public Finance during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Dirk Foremny1, Pilar Sorribas-Navarro2, Judit Vall Castello2

1Universitat de Barcelona / I.E.B., Spain and CesIfo; 2Universitat de Barcelona / I.E.B., Spain

This paper provides novel evidence for the determinants of preferences for public health and the willingness to pay for health services using a survey experiment implemented during the third week of the lock-down in Spain. Results show a substantial deterioration of mental health, which is more pronounced in groups of the population with less stable income sources. We implement two information treatments about the fatality rate across age groups and the incidence rate across regions. In the first case, the treatment is stronger for those in, or with relatives in the risk group. Results suggest that preferences for health care expenditures have almost doubled. Furthermore, we ask respondents about their willingness to pay for one out of three randomly assigned health care improvements. Contributions for more ICU beds are significantly higher compared to medical treatments and a vaccine.

Foremny-Living at the Peak-452.pdf

11:30am - 11:52am

Fighting the Spread of Covid-19: was the Swiss Lockdown worth it?

Beatrice Retali, Nicolò Gatti

Università Della Svizzera Italiana, Switzerland

The implementation of lockdowns to control the Covid-19 pandemic has led to a strong economic and political debate. To shed light on the actual benefits of such policy, we focus on the Swiss lockdown during the first wave of infections and estimate the number of potentially saved lives. To predict the number of deaths in absence of restrictive measures, we develop a novel age-structured SIRDC model which accounts for age-specific endogenous behavioral responses and for seasonal patterns in the spread of the virus. Including the additional fatalities due to the potential shortage of healthcare resources, our estimates suggest that the lockdown prevented more than 11,200 deaths between March and the beginning of September 2020. Using the value of statistical life, we compute the corresponding monetary benefits, which exceed 32 billion francs (4.34% of the Swiss GDP) and are mainly concentrated among people older than 65.

Retali-Fighting the Spread of Covid-19-321.pdf

11:52am - 12:15pm

Does Re-opening Schools Contribute to the Spread of SARS-CoV-2? Evidence from Staggered Summer Breaks in Germany

Ingo E. Isphording1, Marc Lipfert2, Nico Pestel1

1IZA - Institute of Labor Economics, Germany; 2University of Bonn

We study the effect of the end of school summer breaks on SARS-CoV-2 cases in Germany. The staggered timing of summer breaks across federal states allows us to implement an event study design. We base our analysis on official daily counts of confirmed coronavirus infections by age groups across all 401 German counties. We consider an event window of two weeks before and four weeks after the end of summer breaks. We do not find evidence of a positive effect of school re-openings on case numbers. For individuals aged between 5-59 years, which comprise school-aged children and their parents, the end of summer breaks had a negative but insignificant effect on the number of new confirmed cases. Our results are not explained by changes in mobility patterns around school re-openings. Analyses of Google Trends data suggest that behavioral changes of parents have contributed to the containment after school re-openings.

Isphording-Does Re-opening Schools Contribute to the Spread of SARS-CoV-2 Evidence-144.pdf

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