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Pandemics Through the Lens of Occupations

Anand Chopra (), Michael Devereux () and Amartya Lahiri

No 27841, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: We outline a macro-pandemic model where individuals can select into working from home or in the market. Market work increases the risk of infection. Occupations differ in the ease of substitution between market and home work, and in the risk of infection. We examine the evo- lution of a pandemic in the model as well as its macroeconomic and distributional consequences. The model is calibrated to British Columbian data to examine the implications of shutting down different industries by linking industries to occupations. We find that endogenous choice to self- isolate is key: it reduces the peak infection rate by 2 percentage points but reduces the trough consumption level by 4 percentage points, even without policy mandated lockdowns. The model also produces widening consumption inequality, a fact that has characterized COVID-19.

JEL-codes: E0 I0 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-09
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-mac
Note: IFM
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Published as Anand Chopra & Michael B. Devereux & Amartya Lahiri, 2022. "Pandemics through the lens of occupations," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, vol 55(S1), pages 540-580.

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