Inequality in Life and Death
IMF Economic Review,
We argue that the COVID epidemic disproportionately affected the economic well-being and health of poor people. To disentangle the forces that generated this outcome, we construct a model that is consistent with the heterogeneous impact of the COVID recession on low- and high-income people. According to our model, two-thirds of the inequality in COVID deaths reflect preexisting inequality in comorbidity rates and access to quality health care. The remaining third stems from the fact that low-income people work in occupations where the risk of infection is high. Our model also implies that the rise in income inequality generated by the COVID epidemic reflects the nature of the goods that low-income people produce. Finally, we assess the health-income trade-offs associated with fiscal transfers to the poor and mandatory containment policies.
Protecting Our People and Economy in the Long Term
Covid-19 Lessons Learned - Preparing for Future Pandemics. Spanish National Research Council,
While taking measures to prevent the infection was an acute necessity, the impact on other areas of life should always be considered, both, in the short- and long term. The pandemic and the mitigation measures have directly or indirectly affected people’s well-being, their general health, education or the economy. In order to learn for the future, it is of utmost importance to monitor and understand these side effects, in particular regarding long-term developments.
Die Mathematik der Bauchentscheidungen Zuerst Kosten und Nutzen sorgfältig abwägen und dann rational...
Elevated Uncertainty during the Financial Crisis: Do Effects on Subjective Well-being Differ across European Countries?
B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy,
This paper focuses on the effect of uncertainty as reflected by financial market variables on subjective well-being. The analysis is based on Eurobarometer surveys, covering 18 countries over the period 2000–2013. Individuals report lower levels of life satisfaction in times of higher uncertainty approximated by stock market volatility. This effect is heterogeneous across respondents: the probability of being unsatisfied is higher for respondents who are older, unemployed, less educated, and live in one of the GIIPS countries of the Euro area. Furthermore, higher uncertainty in combination with a financial crisis increases the probability of reporting low values of life satisfaction.
Multidimensional Well-being and Regional Disparities in Europe
Journal of Common Market Studies,
Using data from the OECD Regional Well-Being Index – a set of quality-of-life indicators measured at the sub-national level – we construct a set of composite well-being indices. We analyze the extent to which the choice of five alternative aggregation methods affects the well-being ranking of regions. We find that regional inequality in these composite measures is lower than regional inequality in real GDP per capita. For most aggregation methods, the rank correlation across regions appears to be quite high. It is also shown that using alternative indices instead of GDP per capita would only have a small effect on the set of regions eligible for aid from EU Structural Funds. The exception appears to be an aggregation based on how individual dimensions relate to average life satisfaction across regions, which would substantially change both the ranking of regions and which regions would be eligible for EU funds.
Uncertainty, Financial Crises, and Subjective Well-being
This paper focuses on the effect of uncertainty as reflected by financial market variables on subjective well-being. The analysis is based on Eurobarometer surveys, covering 20 countries over the period from 2000 to 2013. Individuals report lower levels of life satisfaction in times of higher uncertainty approximated by stock market volatility. This effect is heterogeneous across respondents: The probability of being unsatisfied is higher for respondents who are older, less educated, and live in one of the GIIPS countries of the euro area. Furthermore, higher uncertainty in combination with a financial crisis increases the probability of reporting low values of life satisfaction.
Creative Destruction and Subjective Well-being
American Economic Review,
In this paper we analyze the relationship between turnover-driven growth and subjective well-being. Our model of innovation-led growth and unemployment predicts that: (i) the effect of creative destruction on expected individual welfare should be unambiguously positive if we control for unemployment, less so if we do not; (ii) job creation has a positive and job destruction has a negative impact on well-being; (iii) job destruction has a less negative impact in areas with more generous unemployment insurance policies; and (iv) job creation has a more positive effect on individuals that are more forward-looking. The empirical analysis using cross sectional MSA (metropolitan statistical area)-level and individual-level data provide empirical support to these predictions.
Alternatives to GDP - Measuring the Impact of Natural Disasters using Panel Data
Journal of Economic and Social Measurement,
A frequent criticism of GDP states that events that obviously reduce welfare of people can nevertheless increase GDP per capita. We use data of natural disasters as quasi experiments to examine whether alternatives to GDP (Human Development Index, Progress Index, Index of Economic Well-Being and a Happiness Index) lead to more plausible responses to disasters. Applying a Differences-in-Differences approach and estimates from various panels of countries we find no noteworthy differences between the response of real GDP per capita and the responses of suggested alternative welfare measures to a natural disaster except for the Human Development Index.