Covid-19 Changed Tastes for Safety-Net Programs

22 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2020 Last revised: 20 Feb 2021

See all articles by Alex Rees-Jones

Alex Rees-Jones

Cornell University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

John D'Attoma

University of Exeter

Amedeo Piolatto

Autonomous University of Barcelona; Barcelona Economics Institute (IEB); Barcelona Graduate School of Economics (Barcelona GSE)

Luca Salvadori

University of Barcelona - Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB)

Date Written: September 2020

Abstract

In June 2020, we surveyed 2,516 Americans regarding their preferences for both short- and long-term expansions to government-provided healthcare and unemployment insurance programs. We find that support for such programs is positively associated with (a) COVID-19 deaths and infections in the respondent’s county, (b) the pandemic-induced change in the unemployment rate in the respondent’s county, and (c) survey elicitations of the respondent’s perceptions of COVID-19’s consequences. These associations persist when controlling for pre-COVID-19 political ideology and demographics. These results suggest that real or perceived exposure to COVID-19’s consequences has influenced support for expansions to the U.S. safety-net system.

Suggested Citation

Rees-Jones, Alex and D'Attoma, John and Piolatto, Amedeo and Salvadori, Luca, Covid-19 Changed Tastes for Safety-Net Programs (September 2020). NBER Working Paper No. w27865, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3700693

Alex Rees-Jones (Contact Author)

Cornell University - Department of Economics ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.alexreesjones.com

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

John D'Attoma

University of Exeter ( email )

Northcote House
The Queen's Drive
Exeter, Devon EX4 4QJ
United Kingdom

Amedeo Piolatto

Autonomous University of Barcelona ( email )

Department of Economics and Economic History
Edifici B - Campus Bellaterra
Barcelona, 08193
Spain

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/piolatto/

Barcelona Economics Institute (IEB) ( email )

c/ John M. Keynes, 1-11
Barcelona, 08034
Spain

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/piolatto/

Barcelona Graduate School of Economics (Barcelona GSE) ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27
Barcelona, Barcelona 08005
Spain

Luca Salvadori

University of Barcelona - Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB) ( email )

c/ Tinent Coronel Valenzuela, 1-11
Barcelona, 08034
Spain

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