The spread of COVID-19 in the United States has prompted extraordinary, although often untested, steps by individuals and institutions to limit infections. Schools, restaurants, entertainment venues, and many other places of business were required to close under the compelling theory that infectious diseases spread more quickly when people congregate. More than a year into the pandemic, public officials were still advising their populations to “stay home” and paid unprecedented unemployment benefits in part to encourage home over work even for healthy persons. Read full Working Paper here.

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