Health economics

Hans Hvide, 07 May 2021

As more of us wait to have children, more of us also worry if that's best for the health of our babies. Empirical evidence has been inconclusive so far but, based on new evidence, Hans Hvide tells Tim Phillips that this might be a problem with the way the research has been done.

David Bloom, Michael Kuhn, Klaus Prettner, 06 May 2021

In addition to the devastating human toll, the economic upheaval wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic illustrates the inextricable relationship between physical and economic health. This column presents an overview of the macroeconomic effects of the infectious disease epidemics of the 20th and early 21st centuries through the lens of recent COVID-19 research and explores the epidemic–economics nexus. It concludes that preventive policies, containment strategies, and early responses are more efficient, cost-effective, and manageable than combatting a full-scale infectious pandemic outbreak.

Abigail Adams-Prassl, Teodora Boneva, Marta Golin, Christopher Rauh, 27 April 2021

Women, the young, and the less educated have borne the brunt of the economic damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns in terms of job and earnings losses. As this column reports, women have also suffered far more from social distancing measures than men in terms of their mental health. Evidence from the Spring 2020 ‘stay-at-home’ orders in US states indicates that this widening gender gap in mental health cannot be explained by respondents earning less than usual, working less than usual, losing their job, struggling to pay their bills, or changing their work patterns or number of hours spent on childcare. 

Miqdad Asaria, Joan Costa-Font, Frank Cowell, 15 April 2021

COVID-19 has not only impacted inequality, it has also affected preferences for inequality. This column examines inequality aversion in Italy, Germany, and the UK. Surveys taken during the early stages of the pandemic higher aversion to income inequality than to health inequality in all three countries, consistent with the findings of other studies conducted before COVID-19. Focusing on the UK, it also finds that people have become more averse to inequality since the onset of the pandemic, especially when it comes to health. This effect is stronger among those not directly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Alex Armand, Ivan Kim Taveras, 11 April 2021

When discussing the socioeconomic effects of climate change, little attention has been given to the role of the ocean. This column presents new evidence of the effect of ocean acidification on early-childhood mortality in low- and middle-income countries. Small increases in exposure to water acidity while in utero have significant effects on neonatal mortality. A closer look at possible mechanisms highlight the role of the ocean for nutrition and how overfishing represents an additional threat.

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