Sangmin Aum

Myongji University
34 Geobukgol-ro, Seodaemun-gu
Seoul 03674
South Korea
Tel: +82-10-3870-6558

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org

NBER Working Papers and Publications

May 2020COVID-19 Doesn't Need Lockdowns to Destroy Jobs: The Effect of Local Outbreaks in Korea
with Sang Yoon (Tim) Lee, Yongseok Shin: w27264
Unlike most countries, Korea did not implement a lockdown in its battle against COVID-19, instead successfully relying on testing and contact tracing. Only one region, Daegu-Gyeongbuk (DG), had a significant number of infections, traced to a religious sect. This allows us to estimate the causal effect of the outbreak on the labor market using difference-in-differences. We find that a one per thousand increase in infections causes a 2 to 3 percent drop in local employment. Non-causal estimates of this coefficient from the US and UK, which implemented large-scale lockdowns, range from 5 to 6 percent, suggesting that at most half of the job losses in the US and UK can be attributed to lockdowns. We also find that employment losses caused by local outbreaks in the absence of lockdowns are (i) ...
Inequality of Fear and Self-Quarantine: Is There a Trade-off between GDP and Public Health?
with Sang Yoon (Tim) Lee, Yongseok Shin: w27100
We construct a quantitative model of an economy hit by an epidemic. People differ by age and skill, and choose occupations and whether to commute to work or work from home, to maximize their income and minimize their fear of infection. Occupations differ by wage, infection risk, and the productivity loss when working from home. By setting the model parameters to replicate the progression of COVID-19 in South Korea and the United Kingdom, we obtain three key results. First, government-imposed lock-downs may not present a clear trade-off between GDP and public health, as commonly believed, even though its immediate effect is to reduce GDP and infections by forcing people to work from home. A premature lifting of the lock-down raises GDP temporarily, but infections rise over the next months t...
February 2018Computerizing Industries and Routinizing Jobs: Explaining Trends in Aggregate Productivity
with Sang Yoon (Tim) Lee, Yongseok Shin: w24357
Aggregate productivity growth in the U.S. has slowed down since the 2000s. We quantify the importance of differential productivity growth across occupations and across industries, and the rise of computers since the 1980s, for the productivity slowdown. Complementarity across occupations and industries in production shrinks the relative size of those with high productivity growth, reducing their contributions toward aggregate productivity growth, resulting in its slowdown. We find that such a force, especially the shrinkage of occupations with above-average productivity growth through “routinization,” was present since the 1980s. Through the end of the 1990s, this force was countervailed by the extraordinarily high productivity growth in the computer industry, of which output became an inc...

Published: Sangmin Aum & Sang Yoon Tim Lee & Yongseok Shin, 2018. "Computerizing Industries and Routinizing Jobs: Explaining Trends in Aggregate Productivity," Journal of Monetary Economics, . citation courtesy of

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