Browsing by Subject "I10"

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  • Ru, Hong; Yang, Endong; Zou, Kunru (2020)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 15/2020
    This paper documents a strong delayed response to COVID-19, which is caused by the SARS-CoV2 virus in countries that did not encounter the SARS disease in 2003. The SARS outbreak was caused by a similar virus, SARS-CoV-1. Individuals in countries that developed SARS infections in 2003 search more intensively for COVID-19-related information on Google during the first outbreak of COVID-19 in Wuhan, China, in late January 2020. Governments in countries that have not experienced SARS respond significantly slower in implementing containment measures to combat COVID-19 than countries that have experienced SARS. Furthermore, the timely responses of individuals and governments are more pronounced in countries that reported deaths caused by SARS, which left deeper imprints. Consequently, COVID-19 case numbers and mortalities have been substantially higher in countries that did not experience SARS deaths. Our findings suggest that the imprint of the early experience of similar viruses is a fundamental mechanism underlying timely responses to COVID-19.
  • Saka, Orkun; Eichengreen, Barry; Aksoy, Cevat Giray (2021)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 13/2021
    We ask whether epidemic exposure leads to a shift in financial technology usage and who participates in this shift. We exploit a dataset combining Gallup World Polls and Global Findex surveys for some 250,000 individuals in 140 countries, merging them with information on the incidence of epidemics and local 3G internet infrastructure. Epidemic exposure is associated with an increase in remote-access (online/mobile) banking and substitution from bank branch-based to ATM activity. Heterogeneity in response centers on the age, income and employment of respondents. Young, high-income earners in full-time employment have the greatest tendency to shift to online/mobile transactions in response to epidemics. These effects are larger for individuals with better ex ante 3G signal coverage, highlighting the role of the digital divide in adaption to new technologies necessitated by adverse external shocks.
  • Ambrocio, Gene (2020)
    BoF Economics Review 6/2020
    Confidence dropped universally across countries and sectors during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe. Latest survey data suggest that confidence is on track for a v-shaped recovery. The swift implementation of stringent containment measures as well as economic stimulus policy measures, along with several other country characteristics, correlate well with both the drop and recovery of confidence across countries.
  • Ma, Chang; Rogers, John; Zhou, Sili (2020)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 16/2020
    We examine the immediate effects and bounce-back from six modern health crises: 1968 Flu, SARS (2003), H1N1 (2009), MERS (2012), Ebola (2014), and Zika (2016). Time-series models for a large cross-section of countries indicate that real GDP growth falls by around three percentage points in affected countries relative to unaffected countries in the year of the outbreak. Bounce-back in GDP growth is rapid, but output is still below pre-shock level five years later. Unemployment for less educated workers is higher and exhibits more persistence, and there is significantly greater persistence in female unemployment than male. The negative effects on GDP and unemployment are felt less in countries with larger first-year responses in government spending, especially on health care. Affected countries’ consumption declines, investment drops sharply, and international trade plummets. Bounce-back in these expenditure categories is also rapid but not by enough to restore pre-shock trends. Furthermore, indirect effects on own-country GDP from affected trading partners are significant for both the initial GDP decline and the positive bounce back. We discuss why our estimates are a lower bound for the global economic effects of COVID-19 and compare contours of the current pandemic to the historical episodes.