というNBER論文が上がっている(H/T タイラー・コーエン)。原題は「Long Social Distancing」で、著者はJose Maria Barrero(メキシコ自治工科大学)、Nicholas Bloom(スタンフォード大)、Steven J. Davis(シカゴ大)。

More than ten percent of Americans with recent work experience say they will continue social distancing after the COVID-19 pandemic ends. Another 45 percent will do so in limited ways. We uncover this Long Social Distancing phenomenon in our monthly Survey of Working Arrangements and Attitudes. The phenomenon is more common among older persons, women, the less educated, those who earn less, and in occupations and industries that require many face-to-face encounters. We estimate that Long Social Distancing reduced the labor force participation rate by 2.0 to 2.5 percentage points in the first half of 2022, or 1.4 points on an earnings-weighted basis. We find large effects on the participation of non-college workers, moderate effects on those with some college, and small effects on the participation of the college-educated. When combined with simple equilibrium models, our estimated participation effects imply that Long Social Distancing reduced output by nearly one percent and shrank the college wage premium by 1.0 to 2.6 percentage points. The weight of the available evidence suggests that Long Social Distancing and its effects will persist for many months and perhaps years.
In closing, we highlight two directions for future research. First, to what extent do the labor force participation effects of Long COVID overlap with those of Long Social Distancing? Long COVID is a health condition that impairs work capacity, which directly impedes labor force participation. Long COVID can also affect participation indirectly through its impact on risk perceptions, infection worries, and social distancing intentions. Insofar as Long Social Distancing deters participation because people suffer from Long COVID – or worry about it – medical advances that cure, effectively treat or prevent the condition will erase the deterrent effect on labor force participation. Insofar as Long Social Distancing and its effects arise from a generalized fear of infection risks brought on by personal and societal experience of the pandemic, they will not. So, resolving this question is interesting as a means of gaining insight into how experience affects economic behaviors and as a means of gauging the impact of COVID-related medical advances on future labor force participation.
Second, our study illustrates how surveys can be used to elicit self-assessed causal effects at the individual level, and how the resulting individual-level data can be combined with equilibrium models to quantify aggregate implications. We hope our study inspires more research in a similar vein. The idea of asking people about the reasons for their economic behaviors is not a new one. Indeed, Freeman (1989) remarks that John Dunlop, his undergraduate professor and doctoral advisor at Harvard in the 1960s, encouraged researchers to speak with labor and management to obtain insights about the operation of markets. Freeman continues, “Getting the opinions of the subjects of our research is about the only advantage we have over physicists. Quarks and gluons do not talk about what they do or why, not even to Richard Feynman.” That line resonates with us, and we think economists have under invested in the use of surveys and structured interviews to elicit self-assessed causal effects. There are exceptions, to be sure. Bewley’s book (1999) on the sources of downward wage rigidity is a prominent example, but one that stands out for its unusual methods as well as its insights. Of course, the use of surveys to elicit self-assessed causal effects is subject to many challenges, pitfalls, and limitations. That’s true of every method economists have at their disposal to assess causal effects.
最後に、今後の研究の2つの方向性を強調しておく。第一に、コロナ後遺症の労働参加への影響は、長期的社会的距離とどの程度重なっているのだろうか? コロナ後遺症は労働能力を損なう健康状態であり、それによって労働参加が直接的に妨げられる。コロナ後遺症は、リスク認識、感染懸念、および社会的距離の意思への影響を通じて、間接的にも労働参加に影響を及ぼす。人々がコロナ後遺症に苦しんでいる、ないしそれを懸念しているせいで長期的社会的距離が労働参加を妨げているならば、そうした健康状態を治療したり効果的に処置したりもしくは予防したりするような医療の進歩は、労働参加の阻害効果を解消するであろう。パンデミックの個人的や社会的な経験によってもたらされた一般的な感染リスクの恐れから長期的社会的距離とその影響が生じているならば、そうした医療の進歩ではそれは解消しないであろう。従ってこの問題を解決することは、経験がどのように経済的行動に影響するかについての洞察を得る手段として、および、コロナ関連の医療の進歩が今後の労働参加に与える影響を測る手段として興味深い。