Interesting findings from an NBER working paper by Cronin and Evans (2020):
Higher-quality nursing homes, as measured by inspection ratings, have substantially lower COVID-19 mortality. Quality does not predict the ability to prevent any COVID-19 resident or staff cases, but higher-quality establishments prevent the spread of resident infections conditional on having one. Preventing COVID-19 cases and deaths may come at some cost, as high-quality homes have substantially higher non-COVID deaths, a result consistent with high excess non-COVID mortality among the elderly since March.
Recent positive news of a potential COVID-19 vaccine is welcome news. However, will people actually take it if the vaccine proves safe and effective? The answer likely depends if your proximate peers are pro-vax or anti-vax. A paper by Estep and Greenberg (2020) argues that:
…residential and school selection processes create “pockets of homogeneity” attracting parents inclined to opt out of vaccines. Structural features of these enclaves reduce the likelihood of harsh criticism for vaccine refusal and foster a false sense of protection from disease, making the choice to opt out seem both safe and socially acceptable. Examination of quantitative data on personal belief exemptions (PBEs) from school-based vaccination requirements in California schools and districts, as well as findings from parent interviews, provide empirical support for the theory.
Hat tip: Kevin Lewis.