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Laissez-Faire, Social Networks, and Race in a Pandemic

Roland Pongou, Guy Tchuente () and Jean-Baptiste Tondji

AEA Papers and Proceedings, 2022, vol. 112, 325-29

Abstract: We study the effects of race, network centrality, and policies that tolerate some level of virus spread (laissez-faire) on COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes in the United States. Our analysis uses unique data on nursing home networks and calibration-based estimates of states' preferences for health relative to short-term economic gains. Our findings suggest that laissez-faire policies increase deaths. Nursing homes with a larger share of Black residents experience more deaths, but they are less vulnerable to laissez-faire policies, especially when not central in social networks. Our findings highlight significant interactions between COVID-19 policies, race, and network structure among US seniors.

JEL-codes: H75 I12 I18 J14 J15 L84 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1257/pandp.20221116

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