Contagion at Work: Occupations, Industries and Human Contact, 2021  [paper]
with Dongya Koh and Raül Santaeulàlia-Llopis
Journal of Public Economics

Abstract: Using nationally representative micro panel data on flu incidence from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey in the United States, we show that employed individuals are on average 35.3% more likely to be infected with the flu virus. Our results are robust to individual characteristics including vaccinations, health insurance, and individual fixed effects. Within the employed, we find significant differences in flu incidence by occupation (e.g., sales occupations show 40.5% higher probability of infection than farmers) and by industry (e.g., education, health, and social services show 52.2% higher probability of infection than mining). Further, we show that the interaction between occupations and industries is important to understand contagion. Indeed, cross-industry differences in flu incidence cannot be fully explained by differences in the within-industry occupation structure. As a potential mechanism for contagion, we study how flu incidence varies with the extent of human contact interaction at work--with an occupation-industry-specific score that we construct based on O'NET occupational characteristics. We find that the higher the human contact at work, the greater are the odds of infection. Our results are larger in years of high aggregate flu incidence and robust to firm size, a number of jobs, and hours worked.

Working Papers

"The Unequal Battle Against Infertility: Theory and Evidence from IVF Success” (New draft, January 2024) joint with Fane Groes, Daniela Iorio and Raül Santaeulàlia-Llopis

"Unemployment Insurance and Occupational Switching" joint with Andrii Parkhomenko

Work in Progress

"Covid-19 and the Matching in the Apprenticeship Market in Germany" joint with Bernd Fitzenberger, Anna Heusler and Leonie Wicht

"Tracking Actual Covid-19 Diffusion in a Population: Evidence from High Frequency Administrative Data”  joint with Marta García Rodríguez, Fane Groes and Raül Santaeulàlia-Llopis

Policy Work

Gender Pay-Gap (Unterschiede in den Jahresverdiensten zwischen Männern und Frauen: Der Gender Pay Gap wurde in der Coronakrise kleiner - außer bei niedrigen Verdiensten.)” with Bernd Fitzenberger and Alexander Patt, IAB Policy report (Kurzbericht), January 2024

"Vacancies, applicants and newly signed contracts: Matching problems in the Vocational Education and Training market are further increasing during the Covid crisis” joint with Bernd Fitzenberger, Anna Heusler and Leonie Wicht, IAB Policy report (Kurzbericht), October 2022