Laura Montenovo

Indiana University
2451 E. 10th Street
Bloomington, IN 47408

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: Indiana University

NBER Working Papers and Publications

June 2020Back to Business and (Re)employing Workers? Labor Market Activity During State COVID-19 Reopenings
with Wei Cheng, Patrick Carlin, Joanna Carroll, Sumedha Gupta, Felipe Lozano Rojas, Thuy D. Nguyen, Ian M. Schmutte, Olga Scrivner, Kosali I. Simon, Coady Wing, Bruce Weinberg: w27419
We study the effect of state reopening policies on a large set of labor market indicators through May 2020 to: (1) understand the recent increase in employment using longitudinal as well as cross-sectional data, (2) assess the likely trajectory of reemployment going forward, and (3) investigate the strength of job matches that were disrupted by COVID-19. Estimates from event studies and difference-in-difference regressions suggest that some of the recent increases in employment activity, as measured by cellphone data on work-related mobility, internet searches related to employment, and new and continuing unemployment insurance claims, were likely related to state reopenings, often predating actual reopening dates somewhat. We provide suggestive evidence that increases in employment stem f...
May 2020Effects of Social Distancing Policy on Labor Market Outcomes
with Sumedha Gupta, Thuy D. Nguyen, Felipe Lozano Rojas, Ian M. Schmutte, Kosali I. Simon, Bruce A. Weinberg, Coady Wing: w27280
This paper examines the impact of the social distancing policies states adopted between March and April of 2020 in response to the COVID-19 epidemic. These actions, together with voluntary social distancing, appear to have reduced the rate of new COVID-19 cases and deaths, but raised concerns about the costs experienced by workers and businesses. Estimates from difference-in-difference models that leverage cross-state variation in the timing of business closures and stay-at-home mandates suggest that the employment rate fell by about 1.7 percentage points for every extra 10 days that a state experienced a stay-at-home mandate during the period March 12-April 12, 2020; select business closure laws were associated with similar employment effects. Our estimates imply that about 40% of the 12...
Determinants of Disparities in Covid-19 Job Losses
with Xuan Jiang, Felipe Lozano Rojas, Ian M. Schmutte, Kosali I. Simon, Bruce A. Weinberg, Coady Wing: w27132
We make several contributions to understanding how the COVID-19 epidemic and policy responses have affected U.S. labor markets, benchmarked against two previous recessions. First, monthly Current Population Survey (CPS) data show greater declines in employment in April 2020 (relative to February) for Hispanics, workers aged 20 to 24, and those with high school degrees and some college. Second, we show that job loss was larger in occupations that require more interpersonal contact and that cannot be performed remotely. Pre-epidemic sorting into occupations with more potential for remote work and industries that are currently essential explain a large share of gaps in recent unemployment for key racial, ethnic, age, and education sub-populations. However, there is a larger unexplained compon...
Is the Cure Worse than the Problem Itself? Immediate Labor Market Effects of COVID-19 Case Rates and School Closures in the U.S.
with Felipe Lozano Rojas, Xuan Jiang, Kosali I. Simon, Bruce A. Weinberg, Coady Wing: w27127
The relationship between population health and measures of economic well-being and economic activity is a long standing topic in health economics (Preston, 1975; Cutler, Deaton, and Lleras-Muney, 2006; Ruhm, 2000). The conceptual issues in analyzing the complicated link between health and economic well-being are central to understanding the implications of the COVID-19 epidemic in the United States The public health shock of the epidemic has direct economic impacts, but the mitigation policies governments are using to control the spread of the virus may also damage economic activity. We estimate how state job market conditions respond to state COVID-19 infections and school closures, which are the earliest of the major mitigation policies. Mitigation policies and local epidemiological cond...
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