Laissez-Faire, Social Networks, and Race in a Pandemic
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.
Pongou, Roland, Guy Tchuente, and Jean-Baptiste Tondji. 2022. "Laissez-Faire, Social Networks, and Race in a Pandemic." AEA Papers and Proceedings, 112: 325-29.DOI: 10.1257/pandp.20221116
AEA Papers and Proceedings