People who vaccinate themselves very early are people who are already very careful. People who do not vaccinate themselves are less careful. So there is a multiplier effect when it comes to those kinds of decisions. —  Jesús Fernández-Villaverde, a University of Pennsylvania economist
People who vaccinate themselves very early are people who are already very careful. People who do not vaccinate themselves are less careful. So there is a multiplier effect when it comes to those kinds of decisions. — Jesús Fernández-Villaverde, a University of Pennsylvania economist
Biden’s New Vaccine Push Is a Fight for the U.S. Economy
President Biden’s aggressive move to expand the number of vaccinated Americans and halt the spread of the Delta variant is not just an effort to save lives. It is also an attempt to counter the continuing and evolving threat that the virus poses to the economy.

... The virus threatens the recovery even though consumers and business owners are not retrenching the way they did when the coronavirus began to spread in the United States in the spring of 2020. Far fewer states and cities have imposed restrictions on business activity than in previous waves, and administration officials vowed on Thursday that the nation would not return to “lockdowns or shutdowns.”

The explosion of new cases and deaths also appears to have deterred many would-be workers from accepting open jobs in businesses across the country, economists say. That comes as businesses and consumers are complaining about a labor shortage and as administration officials pin their hopes on rising wages to power consumer spending in place of fading government support for distressed families.

The plan that Mr. Biden announced on Thursday would mandate vaccinations for federal employees and contractors and for millions of health care workers, along with new Labor Department rules requiring vaccines or weekly tests for employees at companies with more than 100 employees. It would push for more testing, offer more aid to small businesses, call on schools to adopt vaccine requirements and provide easy access to booster shots for eligible Americans. The president estimated the requirements would affect 100 million Americans, or about two-thirds of all workers.

“We have the tools to combat the virus,” he said, “if we can come together and use those tools.”

... “People who vaccinate themselves very early are people who are already very careful,” said Jesús Fernández-Villaverde, a University of Pennsylvania economist who has studied the interplay between the pandemic and the economy. “People who do not vaccinate themselves are less careful. So there is a multiplier effect” when it comes to those kinds of decisions.


... The Delta wave also appears to be sidelining some workers by disrupting child care and, in some cases, schools — forcing parents to take time off or to delay returning to jobs.

Some forecasters believe the combination of rising vaccination rates and a growing share of Americans who have already contracted the virus will soon arrest the Delta wave and set the economy back on track for rapid growth, with small-business hiring and restaurant visits rebounding as soon as the end of this month. “Now is the time to start thinking about the post-Delta world,” Ian Shepherdson, the chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, wrote in a research note this month.

Other economists see the possibility that a continued Delta wave — or a surge from another variant in the months to come — will substantially slow the recovery, because potential workers in particular remain sensitive to the spread of the virus.
Read the full article: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/09/us/politics/biden-vaccines-economy.html