2020 Publications


Differential Growth of Covid-19 in Illinois Counties: A Quantitative Assessment Using the Shift Method

This paper was designed to alert economic development practitioners about pitfalls in comparing communities’ Covid-19 cases using absolute and/or relative measures of change; the net shift method is recommended for such comparisons. Net shift computations involve measuring the relative size of increases or decreases in Covid-19 cases in counties vis-à-vis the regional norm.

Covid-19 Information on County Health Department Websites: The Case of Rural Illinois

It has been almost three months since the first case of Covid-19 appeared in Cumberland County. Since then the number of cases in rural Illinois has grown at the rate of 5% per day, and as at May 29, 2020, the region reported a 4% death rate.

Empirical Analysis of Data from Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) for April 2020: A Report on the Status of Illinois Counties During the Covid-19 Pandemic

This paper is an update to the March 2020 WARN filings reported in the Research Brief, Vol. 2 (4) . During April 2020, Covid-19 induced plant closings cost Illinoisans 5,575 jobs, 55% of the total job loss; manufacturing, accommodation and food services, and retail trade continue to be affected by the pandemic.

The Economic Impact of Covid-19 on Illinois Counties

The economic impact of Covid-19 is being felt by Illinoisans in a variety of ways, from layoffs and furloughs to price hikes in essentials such as grocery products. 2 It has also changed the fiscal outlooks of state and local governments, low revenues and increased spending will be the norm for this year and probably next fiscal year. People are staying home; it means low sales tax revenue, and 2019 income tax filings have been delayed until July 15, 2020, another ‘topline’ 3 revenue loss for the state budget. About one-half of the state revenue comes from income tax, but with unemployment insurance claims increasing at the rate of 2.64% per day since April 4, 2020, 4 this source of income is sure to be much lower than the expected $19.74B.

Covid-19 in Illinois Counties: Effectiveness of Mitigation Effects

This paper addresses the question, how effective is the state’s mitigation effort in arresting the spread of Covid-19 in Illinois counties. To address this question, we use county data on number of Covid-19 cases; specifically, we compute the daily growth rate of infections as at April 11, 2020, estimate the likely number of cases as at April 23, 2020, and compare the estimate to the actual number of Covid-19 infections as at April 23, 2020. The differences in number of cases, from projected to actual number of Covid-19 infections, are used to rank the counties in terms of their effectiveness in mitigating the spread of the virus.

Illinoisans’ Perceptions about their State Government, Economy, and Healthcare During the Covid-19 Pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic has almost stopped social and economic activities in Illinois; the IMF predicts 3% contraction in the global economy, a much larger impact than the 2008-2009 great recession 2 . In earlier Research Briefs, we highlighted Illinoisans’ emotions or feelings about Covid-19 3 . In this paper, the all-round effects of the virus on Illinoisans are discussed 4 ; topics range from Illinoisans’ beliefs about the ability of the healthcare sector to effectively deal with the virus to government responses in tackling
the pandemic (Table 1). Results are presented for both the metro and the nonmetro population; Chi-square is used to test for differences in responses between regions.

Covid-19 in Rural Illinois Counties: Disease Progression, and Health Care System Correlates

The Covid-19 outbreak is likely to grow, mature, and decline. Governments at all levels should aim to (1) FLATTEN the growth curve, and (2) collectively FIGHT the virus, to preserve public health, and reopen the economy.
To gain insights into the status of the disease in Illinois counties, it is suggested that a set of metrics be assembled on a weekly basis and presented visually and in tabular forms to policymakers 2 . The metrics, assembled at the county-level, should include daily growth rate of total cases, cumulative number of confirmed cases, number of Covid-19 tests performed, and correlates of daily growth rate of infections and healthcare assets such as number of physicians and intensive-care-unit (ICU) beds.
To restart the Illinois economy, Illinoisans’ sentiments about the virus should also be monitored on a continual basis, once a week or so. This will help policymakers learn about Illinoisans’ anticipated consumer behavior and spending.
In the paper, these metrics are compiled for rural Illinois 3 and presented as an illustration of the proposed work 4 . The Covid-19 cases are as at April 15, 2020.

Data Update for the Paper: Twitter Conversations about SARS-Cov-2: What is Going on Out There in Illinois?

This report provides information about Covid-19 in Illinois counties as at April 11, 2020.  The report should be read together with the Research Brief, Vol. 2, No. 5 (2020, April 7),  hereon labeled the “original paper”; see http://www.iira.org/2020-2021-publications/.
The original paper presented Covid-19 data, county-wise, as at April 8, 2020. Since then, in a span of three days, the virus has spread to seven more rural counties; Adams County in rural Illinois has replaced Christian County in the top three list of worst affected counties. In general, the daily, compound growth rate of the virus is either stable or declining.

Twitter Conversations about SARS-Cov-2: What is Going on Out There in Illinois?

We study Twitter conversations among Illinoisans about Coronavirus through the systematic analysis of tweets collected during March 21, 2020 through April 5, 2020, the first two weeks of stay-at-home order issued by Governor J. B. Pritzker. The subjective information in the tweet is processed to identify the strength of the positive and negative tone of the tweet. Results reveal that rural residents are more relaxed about the Coronavirus pandemic than their urban counterparts.

The Impact of SARS-CoV-2 on Plant Closings and Mass Layoffs: The Case of Illinois Counties

The SARS-CoV-2 virus, commonly called Corona virus, is inflicting a heavy toll on the world economies; the International Monetary Fund predicts a global downturn at least as bad as the 2008 financial crisis 2 . This paper explores the employment impacts of the virus using Illinois as the unit of analysis.

The Effect of Pharmaceuticals’ Trade Promotions to Medical Professionals in Illinois Counties: Some Research Findings on Opioid Prescriptions

This paper shows that the target market for opioids are women, and people with less than a college education. It also lists the number of chronic pain sufferers in Illinois, county-wise. The market share for opioids in treating chronic pain is decreasing; OTC pain medications are replacing prescription opioids in treating pain. The relationship marketing practices of the pharma companies, for example, cash rewards to physicians, are also waning, becoming less compared to the 2010s. It is hoped that the data presented in this paper would help Illinois counties to gain greater attention to their opioid problem.

Opioid Use Disorder in the Nonmetro Regions: Some Basic Facts from the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH)

This paper highlights opioid misuse behavior among rural or nonmetro residents using micro data from the recently released 2018 NSDUH. Compared to the urban population, rural residents are 87% more likely to be prescribed opioids, and the overdose death rate driven mostly by prescription opioids has been trending higher in nonmetro regions since 2004. To tackle the opioid epidemic, communities need an accurate assessment of what is happening on the ground, assessing what intervention is working, and what is not. This report describes the happenings on the ground. A multi-variable, contingency table analysis of individual responses to NSDUH reveals that the nonmetro region is home to 1.53 million of opioid misusers of which 52% are either unemployed, not in the labor force, or less than 18 years of age. A person’s employment and health status are the context for the misuse. White-collar, salaried social group misuses opioids the most.

Implementing Community Economic Development: Normative Prescriptions, with Applications to Rural Illinois

Economic development strategies at the county level focus on Creation, Attraction, Retention and Expansion (CARE) of businesses. For business attraction, it is essential that a county highlights the region’s quality of life and economic growth potential, the two salient evaluative criteria used for business location decisions. As a communication medium, a county’s website is effective in communicating key features of CARE execution, including business attraction evaluative criteria. Our research shows that many rural counties without dedicated economic developers direct site selection web traffic to related parties such as chambers of commerce and tourism departments. In those cases, counties should collaborate their branding efforts with these regional partners to exhibit visual marketing consistency.