The unequal effects of the health-economy tradeoff during the COVID-19 pandemic

Complexity Digest

Marco Pangallo, Alberto Aleta, R. Maria del Rio Chanona, Anton Pichler, David Martín-Corral, Matteo Chinazzi, François Lafond, Marco Ajelli, Esteban Moro, Yamir Moreno, Alessandro Vespignani, J. Doyne Farmer
The potential tradeoff between health outcomes and economic impact has been a major challenge in the policy making process during the COVID-19 pandemic. Epidemic-economic models designed to address this issue are either too aggregate to consider heterogeneous outcomes across socio-economic groups, or, when sufficiently fine-grained, not well grounded by empirical data. To fill this gap, we introduce a data-driven, granular, agent-based model that simulates epidemic and economic outcomes across industries, occupations, and income levels with geographic realism. The key mechanism coupling the epidemic and economic modules is the reduction in consumption demand due to fear of infection. We calibrate the model to the first wave of COVID-19 in the New York metropolitan area, showing that it reproduces key epidemic and economic statistics…

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