Emily Oster is a Professor of Economics at Brown University. She holds a PhD in Economics from Harvard. Prior to being at Brown she was on the faculty at the University of Chicago Booth School.
- Emily OsterProfessor of Economics at Brown University
- Mario Villarreal-DiazManaging Director, Red McCombs School of Business
[0:00:01 Speaker 0] Welcome to Policy. Emma Combs, A data focus conversation on trade Ox. I’m Carlos. Car value from the Salem Center for Policy at the University of Texas at Austin. Okay, so we have with us today. Emily Oster, economist and alter off. Expecting better in creep sheet. Um, and thanks for joining us.
[0:00:27 Speaker 1] Big family.
[0:00:28 Speaker 0] All right, so what? All these interviews were starting by going back in time and trying to think about what we know when so in March, Tell me about how you’re like processing the information that was coming out from Italy from Europe at that point in time, In margin. How do you think about the types of decision making that was taking place at that early early in the pandemic?
[0:00:47 Speaker 1] Yeah. I mean, I it’s hard to even think back to that. It was sleeping with, like, infinity time ago. Um, and I think that it partly like what I recall from that time was just a feeling of like, Okay, this is getting like this could be over soon. Like we’re gonna like, we’ll get through this, and then it will be It will be over in a sort of simultaneously that and also this, like incredible fear, you know, particularly the stuff that came out of it was coming out of Italy and some of it was coming out of New York. Felt sort of like apocalyptic, Right? So some of this stuff some of the health stuff in Italy felt really like like, hardy, hard to sort of contemplate. Um, but at the same time, you know, there was this sort of, like, lock down piece of it, that kind of personal life piece of it which fell more manageable at the beginning because it felt somehow time limited, even though now, when I think about it like I know how, I would have thought that that was time limited, but it felt like, Okay, we’re going to do this. And we’re going to, you know, make some bread and hang out with the kids and learn a little extra math, and then we’ll be back in school. And I think it was sort of like a slow process of realizing OK, it’s actually would be a pretty long time before we’re kind of back toe. Anything that looks like normal.
[0:01:54 Speaker 0] But were there any particular set of evidence that you’re looking or any models or, you know, as sort of professionals. You take any interest professionally on it right away. When the information was coming out and and decision makers say no, we need to lock down, for example.
[0:02:08 Speaker 1] Yeah. So I started very early on working with the state and doing a lot of work with their with their modeling teams. So sort of thinking about these these models, and I I I will say very quickly. I kind of realized that these epidemiological models are are like, I’m very sensitive, um, radio. So you
[0:02:25 Speaker 0] you can say back I can say about here, i
[0:02:27 Speaker 1] e they’re sensitive. They’re sensitive. And so, you know, there would be sort of this, like whiplash between, like, they’re going to be two million deaths and then actually feel like there’s gonna be 60,000 deaths like and and stuff. And you sort of realize, of course, when you think about it, why that’s true of the models because they have this exponential growth feature and so relatively small changes early on, the two sort of very large changes later and And I was working a lot with the state looking at those models thinking about what the models were saying, But it was It was daunting. And the kind of, uh, it difficult together heads to get our heads around, I guess,
[0:03:08 Speaker 0] and and But where you were, you sort of. So when looking at that right, I think we had a very similar experience here. I was involved early on with some decision makers locally here. And you know when when some epidemiologists show up to the mayor to the track, to the county or to the governor and say, Listen, if we don’t do something right now, 18,000 hospitalizations and take place in Austin, Texas. Well, they didn’t happen. New York City. So it’s kind of like in retrospect, that was okay. But it was like a huge, scary moment at that point in time. And then people react and go into lock down mode. Right? Um, but and one thing that I felt I felt that was not really front and center in the discussion, something that you spent a lot of time talking about writing about, which is the trade off. So you’re facing, um, at that point it sent it seemed that no matter what we need to do this regardless of the price that we’re paying for it. And I can’t understand from the two sort of, like temporary, maybe a two week beard or something like that, Right. But I think there was enough thinking through the well, Would you do it for the six months locked down? Was that any kind of calculation that you start taking place? In that sense,
[0:04:14 Speaker 1] yeah. I didn’t mean, I think early on in that period, there was so much Portia, just like walking on my own life, locked down, which again, I think there were There were good reasons to do. There are good reasons to go some to do something like that, I think. Part of what? But I think you’re right that there was a sort of short term short termism off this on and kind of we conveyed to people we’re gonna lock down until we can, like, fix the hospitals until we can get enough hospital of hospital beds because ready, If there’s, like, you know, whatever. And But then that’s the sort of morphed intellect we’re gonna lock down until there’s not gonna be any more Corona virus, which I think it was like not really realistic. And then you get people who push way back in the other direction, right? So I sort of worry a little bit that we got into a situation where we’re kind of like asking people that is made they couldn’t really sustain for very long, like walking down for two weeks for a month. If he is, he’s more feasible. You know, doing this per segments, just not something that, like people are really equipped Teoh to do in this in the face of this, there’s not really equipped to do that. And so then you kind of lost by having such extreme things. You lost the opportunity. Given Born, he wants message off like, you know, actually, you do need to wear a mask and wash your hands and some of those smaller steps. If we had pushed those more at the beginning, we might have had easier time getting people to adopt. So so I think there was a little bit of a balanced there that maybe Waas not especially well thought through in the first moments.
[0:05:45 Speaker 0] And I remember thinking one of one of the first things I read from you during that time was exactly making that point right, making the point that it’s not something that that is unique. It’s only you knew about it. That’s something that behavior economists know about it, right? How how to convey a message in a way that you’ll get more buy in as opposed to this sort of uniformed thing that seemed to be maybe two arbitrary and then to not just doable. So if I can or cannot do that, that you know, if that’s the only solution, let’s not do anything that plane, right,
[0:06:11 Speaker 1] right? Yeah, exactly. That sort of people go into a place where I was like, Well, if I can’t stay in my house for the next two years like, I might as well just go out and like, have a party and it’s like Well, no, like there’s a sort of immediate thing, but we somehow like, failed to get people toe. We failed in that in conveying.
[0:06:26 Speaker 0] So was there anything in particular in terms of this sort of ah potential cost of her face? And once you realize that that it looks like the lock down, they’re not gonna be a 111 month would be something that you know when when politicians primarily started almost like talking terms of Yeah, we need to crush the virus. Now we need to think about lockdowns. There’s not flatten the curve, but rather suppression. I tried to suppress the virus from existence, and we have too much community spread. All right, at that point for that to be realistic, right? Then Then were there particular costs that you were worried about things that you people are not necessarily focusing on? That would be They were like, Oh, my God. There’s gonna be bad in this way, this way, this way.
[0:07:03 Speaker 1] Yeah. I mean, I think that, you know, it was, um you think there were there were cost two kids that we hadn’t sort of, like, scene at the beginning, right? And so I think a lot of, um I think a lot of people probably under estimated the cost of the like, not of having kids out of school, both in a in a learning sense, but also in a mental health. So I think that the mental help pieces probably the piece that I didn’t hear people talking about at the beginning because I think people didn’t understand what it was gonna be like. And then you sort of saw, like, just didn’t get kind of worse and worse. And I really for both kids and adults and on older adults in particular, that kind of mental health damage of some of this off some of this isolation is really has been really extreme. And I don’t think that we’re done. I don’t think we’re done saying that. You know, I think that rates of depression and anxiety and all those things were gonna end up being way higher than me. Um, then then we had expected. And I think that that’s best simply I do not see a lot of discussion.
[0:08:06 Speaker 0] Is there any evidence of that right now, already coming out of the use of you finding the studies? There are kind of compartmented information or not. [0:08:11 Speaker 1] Yeah, I’ve seen a few things sort of about, like, rates of rates of depression, but I haven’t seen anything really like comprehensive. You know, I’m wondering what we’re going to see about overdoses, so, you know, sort of drug drug related stuff. Um, you know, for some of the same, some of the same reasons
[0:08:30 Speaker 0] that that’s not only isolation, but also like, you know, losing your job is something that contributed at those things a lot too right? Exactly. Yeah, I remember. I remember one of the first days after maybe a month or so of isolation here. We had some friends over to play in the backyard backyard, and the kids were so happy with such a like, you know, there was one particular kids that my two year old never met before, and he was so excited about just having another kid to play with. And seeing that,
[0:08:55 Speaker 1] yeah, my kids went to camp like 23 2.5 weeks. It was like the first, like time to be three weeks go like the first time that laid, like, been in a child. And I like I had understood that they missed seeing other other kids, but the the like difference. And at the end of like two days interest, everybody’s mood and the ability it was just like I mean, it wasn’t just like the work time. It was sort of that, like everybody again did they have, like, something different that they had done to talk about, and, um, and I don’t think we had really appreciated how much the kids had been had been sort of suffering, even though, like, of course, like they’re very lucky and world like. We’re in a very lucky circumstance, but it’s kind of like it.
[0:09:34 Speaker 0] So it’s fast forward to two where we are now in terms off what we know and how different information is from then. I think you know a lot of primarily one thing that we know now that we didn’t know then was how Het Sergiy is the diseases for in terms of risks, for different, different populations, right? And for us, it’s something that was very, very low probability off something real bad happening where for some groups is very high probability. Um, so given that I think that the original data points pointing to not data points or projections pointing to life, millions of that’s kind of like negating that rejecting those hypotheses Now, I think to some extent, how do you see this moving forward in terms of policy or
[0:10:16 Speaker 1] I am not sure. Yeah, I mean, I’m not sure. I mean, I think that there’s there’s like also a sort of huge disconnect across space and how people are in how people are you methods. Um, so you know, like there are definitely places like like even even places that have really high rates, like in Texas, where I think people are sort of like, OK, level, that’s just like move on and you know, yes, it’s too bad that we have so many corner virus cases were something like open our schools and we’re gonna And then I think that there are places like you know, your California and where I live where, like even in the face of much lower risk the choices that people are making her much more conservative. And so, you know, I’m not sure where I see over that, um, all that going, And I think it’s also been hard to kind of. It’s the thing you said about energy’s impact. It’s been very difficult for people toe Think about until we sort of simultaneously these like huge numbers in terms of pieces. Um, but it’s hard to translate that into, like how, like work, like how worried should I be, which is a sort of ah thing. I think a lot of people are a lot of people.
[0:11:30 Speaker 0] So let’s go talk to talk about kids. That’s something that you did a lot of work and I should say also that you’ve been maintaining a website with Galit Alter from Harvard, filing a lot of information for about kids. It’ll families about treatments and, like basically a lot of evidence gathering a lot of evidence and make it easy for people to digest that, um So give me an overview off. How should be thinking about covert in relationship to kids and you mentioned kids being camp. So So tell me more about that.
[0:11:59 Speaker 1] Yeah. I mean, I think basically what we know about kids is that their wrists are relatively low that, you know they themselves are both relatively less likely than adults to be infected. And the outcomes tend to be. They tend to have fairly mild infection. You know, I’m always cautious to say like that doesn’t need that kids cannot get very sick and doesn’t think it’s gonna die of this. Like we have seen pediatric Ellis and we have seen P Africa. But it’s just much, much less common, your relative just broader, like older people and and the reason partly that that’s surprising. And that’s like notable is with something many respiratory viruses like, If you look just memories, the flu, the groups you would see would be most effective. Would be young kids in order, right? So if you book it like who dies of the flu in a given year, it’s kids and and really
[0:12:42 Speaker 0] very young kids, right? Yeah,
[0:12:43 Speaker 1] very anxious to get that sort of like very young like below five kind of kids here. There’s really, like very young kids seem to be like, basically the lowest risk. There’s almost like a like a kind of linear in that living room. But there’s almost just like a monetary increase across across ages. And I think that, you know, you don’t really understand what is, but it is encouraging about kids, and it means you only think about the risks of kids like it’s nothing zero. But it’s much lower than some of the other disease risks that you’re taking it like a bad flu season would be like, Um and so I think that’s that’s good. But then, when we think about child care settings, of course there’s a question of like our kids transmitters, and I think the evidence there is a little more complicated. So, you know, kids do seem to transmit probably last than adults, partly because they don’t have it. As much particularly very young kids are just not not very efficient transmitters. They’re rarely the index cases in households of his mean it can transmit, but it doesn’t seem to be doesn’t seem to be very common. That’s encouraging about sort of child care and, um, and schools. But But again, you thank
[0:13:51 Speaker 0] relatively, relatively low right out to the other groups in the population, their risk. But can you can you put it in a in a way, that relative to two other things that we do? How would you rate? Um, the risk of, you know,
[0:14:04 Speaker 1] is
[0:14:05 Speaker 0] that, like an analogy can make between the risk of a kid dying of Corona buyers relative to um,
[0:14:11 Speaker 1] look, you can look at something you know, early on in the epidemic, I looked at like flu deaths in Kobe, deaths didn’t last, you know, when the and the food guts are 10 times 15 times as high a za Kobe death, even in the sort of height of height of the epidemic earlier,
[0:14:28 Speaker 0] which was incredibly mild flu season. This one, right?
[0:14:31 Speaker 1] It was not. It was not a very significant. So in a relative to a serious flu season, that would be very, very so they penises. Deal. We’re talking a very, very small numbers, you know, Very small numbers.
[0:14:44 Speaker 0] Yeah, that’s something that’s hard for people to digest right on, especially when they see the sort of ah, still apocalyptic news around them is hard for
[0:14:54 Speaker 1] me. I think it just makes it really like, you know, the one thing that sometimes help people is like if every time some kid drowned in a pool, you have the kind of coverage that you have when a kid is seriously Oh, from from Kobe, it, like you would never take your kid anywhere near a pool. Um, and I think there is this kind of salient piece and it came up early on. People are talking about, like, this multi multi symptom, uh, multi symptom inflammatory syndrome, which is sort of like a word for that kind of become a mysterious illness. Yeah, Kawasaki like like illness. And, you know, people are trying out that new York was like, There’s 100 people who might have this It was like, You know, like, 20% of the kids that were testing in New York have antibodies suggesting that, like the number of kids who had this is very, very big and so small that it will be like, Remember, like these places are really big, like the denominators are really, really hard. And so 100 may seem like a big number to you until you realize that the base rate is, you know, a 1,000,000. And then it doesn’t really seem like that big enough,
[0:15:51 Speaker 0] right? I think I think that the total number of kids that die in New York were 13. I
[0:15:56 Speaker 1] don’t think it was that high. But yes, it’s certainly not
[0:15:59 Speaker 0] up to 17 years old, so there is a big difference between 0 to 10 and 10 to 17 most of them 317 years old. That’s another question, a question that follow up to that when there’s a lot of conversations about and we can talk more about schools in a second but, um, and it into bundle together k through 12. Would you make a distinction between what we know about, let’s say, even pre K kids K through five elementary school kids and an older kids.
[0:16:28 Speaker 1] Yeah, I would make a distinction in two in two really important dimensions. So one is just the risk of illness. So it seems like, you know, teenagers particularly, well, kind of a little bit more like adults. Or these are higher risk men than very young, then very young kids. So if you had to say, like, what’s the safest kind of group? Teoh have interacted with each other? It’s It’s very young Marie kid, the better effectively, Um, but then the other thing is, we think about things like schools or or interactions. And we asked, like, How efficiently can we replicate the experience? Uh, that, like these, You know, that sort of things. You need to learn with a 14 year old on the computer versus, like, five year old on the computer. Those are really right. So, like online learning, it’s not great. And you and I both teach like adults, basically, and you know, it’s not as good teaching college kids don’t do is it’s not great, but they weren’t, you know. They are learning something. They’re able to sit in front of their computer and zoom, and they’re able to work sheets and they’re used to work at a computer and they type on a contract your friends and following her. But, you know, whatever it is, you know, Yeah, but my five go carefully, do that right. And so and, you know, it’s really hard to teach a five year old to read on on you. That’s just really hard to do that on. So I think that we sort of I would draw a distinction between if I asked. You asked me, like what’s the most important side of people to get back into the classroom in person? It’s a little bit elementary school,
[0:17:48 Speaker 0] elementary school, right? So that I get your condition on. So there’s three things that I think there’s a lot of worry about right now, when comes to schools and the rhetoric that you hear, which, by the way you mentioned Texas opening schools, were not actually, so we just heard from. There’s a big Brooke Bush from our teachers not to open schools, and and I think I’m gonna be at least online for the first half of the semester, which is, you know, and and at the same time, most not only public schools, but there was a cities are putting putting constraints for private schools and charter schools to open as well. So I think
[0:18:20 Speaker 1] that finger saying, Yeah, because I heard from people who are private private schools in Houston that said, Like we’re opening normally. Yeah,
[0:18:26 Speaker 0] but just just this week they started. They started sending, sending basically the, ah directives that they’re not alone. So there’s some lawsuits coming up. This is not decided by any means, but But that’s this discussion. And I think when you hear the discussion, there’s three pieces that people tend to point out. One is risk to kids, and I think that’s the one. That date is just overwhelming is overwhelming that we shouldn’t worry about that. There’s, you know, again, I have a pool in my house and I shouldn’t have it. You know, if I have a book, my house and I don’t see my kids to school and being completely irrational,
[0:18:54 Speaker 1] that’s consistent. Yes,
[0:18:55 Speaker 0] exactly inconsistent. And the other pieces? Well, we know, but there’s the teachers and the custodians. The other people that their work in school and then they’re putting them at risk is affair with them.
[0:19:05 Speaker 1] You
[0:19:06 Speaker 0] talked about the transmission aspect. The fact that kids are are much lower factors that their dick transmit. But they transmitted a much hot, much lower rate than than other individuals. Um, and I think I don’t know. How do you think about that? How do you think about the teachers and custodians and other people that work in that environment?
[0:19:22 Speaker 1] Yeah. I mean, I think you know it is it is a very tricky thing to talk about. So I think we could talk about in terms of data and we could say, like, sort of Let’s look at places like like Europe, which you know has a lot of differences and whenever, But like places like league in Sweden, they kept schools open. And actually they have, like a pretty like they didn’t have, like a great epidemic experience overall in Sweden. But when you look at like hospital that they can, you can match like occupation, the hospitalization rates you can actually look at, like whether teachers are more likely to be, you know, Kobe cases and other jobs like what’s a risky job? And teachers not a risky job. So pizza teats out that no teachers get getco been in Sweden, but they’re not more likely than the general population of just people with manager. Unlike, say, bus drivers and bus driver look super risky. Just kind of see why that would be So, you know, it just suggested this isn’t like an especially high risk, um, high risk occupation. Of course, I think there’s, you know, people say, Well, why should I have to? You know, Why should people have much teachers have to go back to school and put themselves it? You don’t put themselves at risk. It is not fair to ask people to do that. It’s like a little bit of a funny thing to say, because of course, you could ask the same question about people in grocery stores like, Just like, Why do we ask? You know what people like? I mean, doctors is one thing, but like you know, it’s not like there are no other jobs which where you have to go. Otherwise, you are not working. Of course, is that indentured servitude like if you don’t wanna go Teoh but I think that I think there’s a little bit of a of a sort of tension of attention there. I do think that that there was a very legitimate complaints on the teacher’s side, which is that they’re not being provided with the kind of like protection will that they that they need, right? So it’s It’s one thing to say. You know, look, you can wear a mask. Your students of where a massive bring attract their symptoms. We’re gonna kind of do everything we can, but we expect you to come back to work. There’s a difference between that and saying like you have to come back to work when we’re not gonna provide any support And you know, but that I think that’s not really fair. And that wouldn’t be consistent with, like being a Kasher whole foods where they put up a plexiglass and they have you wear a mask and make the customers wear a mask. I mean, you think that’s not an unreasonable
[0:21:27 Speaker 0] Um, yeah, I think that we decided to use this term of some business being essential versus not which is actually incredibly dangerous thing for, you know, a central government to decide what’s essential, what’s not. But if you’re going to do that schools. I was
[0:21:40 Speaker 1] going themes essential. It’s essential
[0:21:42 Speaker 0] to me. So, yes, I hope they were coming. You make a good point off. I think the lack of preparedness in a lot of school district’s but but in that sense to you places that let’s say we’ll open. Do you have any information on the types of things that seem to be really important to to do? I’m so I absolutely agree with you that, they asked. The kids are wearing masks. It begins, is somehow, um, protected from the from the teachers. I think somehow staying some sort of social dissent from teachers is something that seems to make make some sense. But I think the idea off trying to spread kids around six feet away inside of the classroom seems a little a little crazy to me. Um, um, given what we know about that transmissions in the risk and I know how do you think
[0:22:24 Speaker 1] about I mean, I think it’s just more realistic, right? So I think we have to sort of there’s like, a kind of combination of like what is safe and what is and what is like realistic to expect. Um, people toe kids, No kids. Todo um I think there are some things which are really Look what we can do which are realistic like, which are like wash your hands more where masks, you know, do some symptom tracking like take kids Temperatures like that would have, you know, tell me what they can take Kevin sick, Get the schools of There was some sort of external things. I think when we start and and you keeping kids in smaller pods so they’re not interacting with a 1,000,000 different people, which will make it easier to like contract rates later if somebody does get so there are some things like that regulating it. Precisely how they could dinner with each other in the classroom, I think, is just very, very difficult to imagine doing on. And I don’t just like, I don’t think the evidence would suggest that that is very that that is a necessary to do. But I also think it’s impossible, right? And so I think there’s like some frontier of like what is affected and what could you do? And we need to sort of figure out how to be on that frontier with these different things, Like one of the things that we can do that are effective. And we’ve got to kind of give on some of these. Don’t you think that it is impossible.
[0:23:36 Speaker 0] So So you don’t want to put you on the spot, But I would just say that given then what we know in the evidence and what we are. An epidemic. Um, I guess the 13th I didn’t mention is that the one worries that Well, the fact that that heavy schools opens have on the progression of the epidemic. That’s the other thing that you want. One could think about schools of being a compartment in those models, right? And how the day lead to sort of the progression of exponential growth. Someone so forth, I think. Then again, there, the evidence is not. There’s not a lot of evidence. What we have is really just like I’m guessing. And from what we saw in Sweden, for example, in some other places that had schools open earlier, it doesn’t seem to contribute so much for that. That spread right. Putting all that together, um, would be Europe sort of assessment that the cost benefit is such that we should be opening schools fully on time this this fall elementary. Separate them elementary or or and I know I know you. You when you you know, you try to say that empower people with information like that make the decision. I don’t want to make the decision for them. But here in the situation where states, you know are making those decisions for us, right?
[0:24:44 Speaker 1] Yeah. I mean, I think if I were, if I were the decider that in, you know, in states with, uh, with kind of under, like, under control epidemics, um, and I need not zero cases, but I also need not like, you know, more like, not a positivity rate of 10% and, like, you know, really like increasing cases. But places like the North Yuste. Yeah, I would open schools on time. Um, pretty, like, pretty normally, um, that would be my I mean, I am just really like I was reading something the other day in the journal. Like was sort of like an anecdotal, and I was like a story about a woman single mom with two kids and like the kind of like inequality and learning losses that are going to be associated with this are going to be felt for, um and you know, I understand the view that if even one kid you know dies of the Corona virus, it will be too costly. But I think that that is not consistent with the other risk choices that were that we’re that we’re making. And I think we really need to think about the costs on the on the other side. So I guess if I were the decider, maybe that’s what I do.
[0:25:51 Speaker 0] So when you mentioned the in some places where things are, let’s understand a little bit better that so the fact that in the place where the epidemic might be, it might be raging with higher rates off positivity around. Why would that be then? The case for you to say that Well, you know, in this situation without to hope that first goes to be closed [0:26:08 Speaker 1] fairly optics, actually. So part of it is that even if you thought which I probably do that, actually, opening schools wouldn’t necessarily make things more force or wouldn’t make things worse when you open schools. Some people at the schools will have will have Kobe because, like some people just like out in the world, have have Kobe. And I’m not sure that we’re really equipped to process that information appropriately. And so I worry that if we open is usually a practical concern, like if we open schools and then the first thing that happens is the first week a bunch of people who work in this poll is go to the schools have proven that we will just shut everything down and then it will be shut down every place, right? So so I think you’re Some of this is about kind of setting, setting expectations, and there are definitely people who are more bullish than I am. Who would say basically, because we don’t think this will make things worse, like Lester’s open all the schools and just, like, let it let it go and I kind of I can see that argument. I think that the Paul, though this from practical aspects of that, seem really hard to me.
[0:27:05 Speaker 0] So you mentioned the differential learning and how that’s gonna have is kind of like almost obvious for us to expect is there that the kids there are more fluent, are gonna be able to handle this and manage this transition, whether they’re doing a line or in ways they’re just easier than the other kids in the gap of achievement is gonna just be widened during this during this crisis. Another thing that you mentioned is how parents gonna handle this. And I think Do you do you worry at all about the district? Desperate, in fact, that we’re gonna see between men and women in terms of participation, labor force and so one as a result of this?
[0:27:36 Speaker 1] Yeah, Absolutely. I mean, I think you will see a ton of women particularly actually like higher income, better educated women who were just gonna drop out of labor force. Um, and you know, they’re gonna be some, like, very significant gains lost. I mean, if big about this in the context of academia where, you know, we have, like, a bunch of people on the 10 year track and like some of them are women, and they have little kids. Some of them were men, and they have little kids, and the women who have little kids are with their kids and they’re doing the homes schooling. And there you known already papers at this Same at the same rate. We’re gonna be seeing that in five years. We’re looking to China cases. There’s no way around it on I am. Yeah.
[0:28:12 Speaker 0] And worried about thing and the thing that the policy, at least my university has. And I’m assuming yours has seven something similar. Is that the delay about dangers Clock? Yeah. Standing again, right, That actually know from some research that shows that that actually disprove that
[0:28:25 Speaker 1] you need to work like it’s the same way I feel about, like, a childbirth. It’s clock it sanctions like although to be fair and give everyone the same thing. No. Do you know where the baby comes out of? Like you know who’s who just like to be totally clear. Do you understand how these air my time investment is a lot of horsing it again,
[0:28:48 Speaker 0] right? Uh, yeah, it’s is unbelievable, but that those are the most liberal places in the world, right? University
[0:28:55 Speaker 1] know exactly these places, most in
[0:28:57 Speaker 0] terms of the
[0:28:57 Speaker 1] quality. I mean, I don’t know, maybe they’re like to consent.
[0:29:00 Speaker 0] So that’s like vaccines for a second. You write a lot about vaccines and how. How that’s like the one situation where it’s overwhelming evidence that you has issued back to your kids. And yet we have a very large number of people, and that’s not over related Right before go. That’s still reluctant. Vaccine taking vaccines are reluctant because I think there’s risks of the risks of that. And so once before, um, so here we are in a situation where there are policymakers and academics that would advocate that we should stay locked down, too, so severe that I should stay locked down onto a vaccine comes up and that state miraculously, in three months time vaccine comes up
[0:29:36 Speaker 1] and people will take it
[0:29:37 Speaker 0] right. From what you know, from where you observe in Nixon and got a log in terms of evidence through the years looking at this. So how do we how do you think about like how, how, how quickly people adopt and how this sort of like safe, because we’re not gonna have a lot of data on the safety of it is gonna be
[0:29:53 Speaker 1] like, I mean, I
[0:29:53 Speaker 0] thought about it, right?
[0:29:55 Speaker 1] Yeah, it’s interesting question, and I think we will see some you know, we’ll see take up because people like, wanna have the vaccine and then we will see some people who don’t, you know, who kind of don’t want to have the vaccine. I think the thing the vaccine will buy us the same way. But the same thing advise us in the flu or measles is a kind of like it’s on you if you don’t do it, which I actually think, well, hope I would somebody like some of the reopening stuff. I need part of what is tricky right now about some of the teacher stuff. And someone is like, People are like, Well, you’re put. You know, there’s nothing you can do in your putting the informs way if the if it’s like, Well, there’s a vaccine, but you refuse to take it. I think that people are gonna feel much different, not different. So I think even the existence of the vaccine will will help with some will help with some of that, even if people don’t want Tiu, which some people, for sure, I mean, particularly if it’s a modern A vaccine and people like realized it is a totally different technology that we’ve never used for,
[0:30:52 Speaker 0] right? Don’t say exactly our decision making resting brother said. You’re making again, um, one of the arguments that I hear a lot eyes that well, we just don’t know enough about this. And, for example, there’s like people that worry about potential long term consequences of it or you mentioned the couple’s Accutane that you’ll see there’s this other thing that can happen. And so there’s a lot of, like, uhm unknown unknowns associated with what we have in front of us with this disease and and because again, I think if if we didn’t have ah system where I don’t know, I think in other times this just would be like another flu season will be bad. It will be annoyed to some people would die and we move on with our lives. But the information we have generated, like a degree of panic and thinking that that that creates a lot of overreaction to it. But but the is unknown unknowns has generated a lot of media Max thinking, I think off decision making, thinking about the worst case scenario. Well, I don’t know is that because something could be bad. Therefore, not gonna do a period. And that’s like not how we contended to think about decision making. We try to really try. You know, we think about expectations, not necessarily. Minute, max. Decision making do you again? In your work, you work. Look a lot about how people think about decision making in racism, seat of the kids and family decisions that make, um and that kind of thinking tends to take place in that space as well. Do you find a big difference between what we’re living now? How this taking place in people’s minds versus versus that?
[0:32:20 Speaker 1] I think, you know, just to some extent I mean, I think part of there is this issue of salience which comes up to me all the time like this is just so in your face all the time that I think it is very difficult for people to, um, to kind of step back and think and like almost some of what’s bad, some of what are like breast decision making is benefiting from Is the package border? Stop thinking with his response time, and so you know you work. Sometimes you take a step back to think about these risks, but then you realize that people are not, like, not like, constantly obsessing about pools. Um, and I think here we really are sort constantly obsessing about this reading about all the time and media is on super helpful because the media is, like, really focused on anecdotes and really focus on numerator. Zen close on. Case counts, and people sort of see these numbers like the numbers are big and, you know, or they’re small, but they seem bigger there, more than one or whatever it is. I think that that’s that’s making very difficult for people to kind of conceptualize the decision making correctly on. And it puts the kind of worst case scenario, the in your mind. So, like, so front of mind that it is hard to kind of move it to the back of your mind. But you need to
[0:33:29 Speaker 0] yeah, um, and changing gears a little bit, actually. Go back to one thing. We talked a lot about K through 12 And just to make sure that I know of some friends, I would like to hear that daycares Do you? What’s your what? The evidence what you know is everything differently at all. When you already mentioned that the rate that this sort of ah risk for kids at that that younger inches even lower, uh, and so even less worry about they cares anymore about K to 12.
[0:33:56 Speaker 1] Yes, I’m less worried about Baker and the part because acres were also much smaller. So, like the sort of like like most of the way that we’re operating like D care child care, little kid childcare Centers is like, Well, um is well suited. Teoh is well suited to having you small pods and doing things that are in doing things that are, like, you know, seem seem safe in addition.
[0:34:22 Speaker 0] Right? Okay, so now the other thing I want to ask now is about he sees there’s like there’s a politization going on with whether you want to schools open or not. See that you are one side of the island out. And, um, it’s hard to understand exactly why does yet another thing that falls into a partisan divide, uh, suggesting some of the questions that people
[0:34:45 Speaker 1] have to come in to get his sweatshirt and a liking in a few minutes.
[0:34:50 Speaker 0] But, um, you know, I think it is a question that Richard wanted me to ask you. Is that the question off off, like he’s more on the side of like, let’s try to be reasonable about this, have new ones decision making an honest, really like blanket decisions are like everything close school closes or everything. Um, and he’s afraid that that makes him into, you know, not afraid, but he’s being treated as go Oh my God, he must get trump support as a result. Uh, and then I think greats like avoiding the conversation. If if all of a sudden you think that I’m saying that schools should should open because I support the president is like, completely, that’s a you know, a lightning rod. And do you get that at all that by you, you know, tending direction?
[0:35:30 Speaker 1] No, it’s super. I mean, it’s it’s sort of crazy, because there’s like this, like, unholy alliance of like the like Trump supporters And then, like the Super My Feet, people who are caring about like inequality and, like inequality and learning outcomes like somehow were like on the same side, even though it’s like not for the scene, like not for the same reason, but I think it has. It’s like the whole thing has gotten sort of very politicized. And it feels like there’s not allowed space for about
[0:35:53 Speaker 0] yeah, on, But anything that you see positive in the direction in terms of any particular leadership that there are showing, you know, good.
[0:36:03 Speaker 1] Has not seen any particular leadership on this story.
[0:36:06 Speaker 0] Yeah, yeah. Um, yes. I ask everything that I wanted to ask. This is this is great. Um, awesome. Thank you so much.
[0:36:13 Speaker 1] Yeah. Nice to see you.
[0:36:15 Speaker 0] Yeah. Greatest. Keep up thinking. Putting together for everybody.
[0:36:20 Speaker 1] Nice to see you
[0:36:21 Speaker 0] start. Thanks for listening to Policy McComb’s