ワーキングペーパー 2022年度 一覧に戻る

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  • Understanding Cross-Country Heterogeneity in Health and Economic Outcomes during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Revealed-Preference Approach

    Abstract

    There is a large heterogeneity in health and macroeconomic outcomes across countries during the COVID-19 pandemic. We present a novel framework to understand the source of this heterogeneity, combining an estimated macro-epidemiological model and the idea of revealed preference. Our framework allows us to decompose the difference in health and macroeconomic outcomes across countries into two components: preference and constraint. We find that there is a large heterogeneity in both components across countries and that some countries such as Japan or Australia are willing to accept a large output loss to reduce the number of COVID-19 deaths.

     

    Introduction

    The COVID-19 pandemic has posed the world a question that has not been asked for many decades: How should a society balance infection control and economic activity during a pandemic? Different countries have struggled with this question differently, and we have witnessed a diverse set of health and macroeconomic outcomes across countries during the COVID-19 pandemic. As shown in Figure 1, there are countries that have seen large output loss and many deaths, while there are countries that have seen small output loss and few deaths. There are countries with large output loss and few deaths, yet there are countries with small output loss and many deaths.

     

    WP041

  • Going Cashless: Government’s Point Reward Program vs. COVID-19

    Abstract

    Using credit card transaction data, we examine the impacts of two successive events that promoted cashless payments in Japan: the government’s program and the COVID19 pandemic. We find that the number of card users was 9-12 percent higher in restaurants that participated in the program than those that did not. We present a simple framework accounting for the spread of cashless payments. Our model predicts that the impact of the policy intervention diminished as the use of cashless payments increased, which accords well with Japan’s COVID-19 experience. The estimated impact of COVID-19 was around two-thirds of that of the program.

     

    Introduction

    The share of payments using cashless methods is much lower in Japan than many other countries. BIS statistics, for example, show that total payments via cashless means such as credit cards, debit cards, and e-money in Japan amounted to 74 trillion yen or 24 percent of household final consumption expenditure in 2018. This percentage is considerably lower than the 40 percent or more in other developed countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and Singapore. The social cost of relying on cash payments is substantial. For instance, using data for several European countries, Schmiedel et al. (2012) show that the unit cost of cash payments is higher than that of debit card payments. In addition, Rogoff (2015) argues that cash makes transactions anonymous, which potentially facilitates underground or illegal activities and leads to law-enforcement costs.

     

    WP040

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