ECO 2199 COVID 19 Pandemic and Economics Questions

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ECO 2199 Practice Questions
Short Answer (7 points)
1. Persico et al. (2021) examine whether or not pollution makes COVID-19 worse. Why is it
important that they show counties with more Toxic Release Inventory sites had higher
pollution? How did they use this information in their difference-in-differences
2. The following figure plots the estimated effects of lockdowns on car crashes. What do
you conclude from this figure? Is the effect persisting over time?
Daily Crashes
Days Since State Order
3. The following figure shows responses from Democrats and Republicans to questions
about changing their behaviour because of COVID-19. What can you conclude? Is this
causal evidence? Why or why not?
4. The following graph is taken from Bargain and Aminjonov, 2020, Europe “Trust and
Compliance to Public Health Policies in Times of COVID-19”.
a. Does this figure suggest that cities (or regions) with more trust in politicians
were more likely to stay at home during the month of February 2020? Explain.
b. Can you think of an omitted variable that could explain the relationship
presented in this figure? Explain.
5. The 2020 survey on mental health by CARE indicated that 27% of women reported
increased challenges with mental health compared to 10% of men. Why might we
expect women’s mental health to be more affected than men’s? Why might we be
worried about measurement error (give a specific example)?
6. Serrano-Alarcón et al. (2021) evaluate the effects of lifting lockdowns on mental health
by comparing Scotland and England. The independent variable in the following figure is
the General Health Questionnaire “caseness” scale. What does the “caseness” scale
measure? What does the following figure suggest was the effect of lifting the
Long Answer (10 points)
1. We came to the conclusion that whether or not lockdowns are cost-effective is unclear.
a. Briefly discuss how the value of statistical life contributes to the uncertainty
(hint: what’s age got to do with it?).
b. Pick one of the following outcomes and discuss the how lockdowns might impact
them and why they are challenging for economists to quantify: mental health,
COVID-19 case severity, freedom.
c. What is one way that economists could attempt to quantify the mental health
costs of lockdowns? What might this measure not be able to capture (what are
the measurement error concerns)?
2. Abaluck et al. (2021) conducted a randomized control trial the evaluate mask
a. Their treatment was given the acronym NORM, what does that mean? Why was
it called NORM?
b. The follow figure illustrates mask wearing during and after the experiment. What
should we conclude? Is the effect persistent?
c. The authors discuss having a reverse causality problem. Why might there be a
reverse causality problem? How does this tie into the concept of prevalence
elasticity we discussed in class?
3. Giuntella et al. (2020) examine college students’ physical activity and mental health
during the pandemic. They find a large decrease in physical activity, increase in screen
time, and increases in depression risk factors.
a. What experiment do they then attempt?
b. Was it successful (discuss, not yes or no)?
c. What do we learn when combining these experimental results with the previous

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Explanation & Answer:
3 Questions

Covid 19 Pandemic

coronavirus and economy

COVID 19 Lockdown

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