Policies Constrain Choices

On Sunday, Hurricane Ida made landfall in New Orleans as a Category 4 hurricane.  The third hurricane to hit the Louisiana in a year.  Last year when Hurricane Laura made landfall, Louisiana had one of the highest per capita COVID-19 infection rates.  The same was true when Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana.

It seems that some places and people are always on the fringes.  Often we attribute this to their choices but forget that policies constrain choices.  Tiffany L. Green, a health economist, wrote in an op-ed reminding us not to punish the unvaccinated.   She states:

The reason why there are so many unvaccinated people is not just about individual people each “refusing,” to be vaccinated — it’s about our vast social inequalities, pandemic of misinformation, and failures of policy.

We need to look beyond vaccination as simply a personal choice and focus on and address the social systems that put thousands of people at risk of being unvaccinated.

These social systems also allow for unequal economic recovery.  On Friday, the Bureaus of Labor Statistics will release the Economic Employment Summary.  The unemployment rate of Black women has not recovered as quickly as the unemployment rate for Hispanic and White women.  So I am interested to see if the gap between the unemployment rate for women has decreased.

Zaria Roller, our summer intern from the AEA Summer Training Program, finds that women who experience labor market shocks are more likely to report financial insecurity.  Click here to read Zaria’s blog.

Yesterday was the last day of our WISER Women Campaign.  We raised $5,946; thank you!

Be safe this Labor Day weekend.