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The Efficacy of Lockdown Against COVID-19: A Cross-Country Panel Analysis

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  • Vincenzo Alfano

    (University of Napoli Federico II)

  • Salvatore Ercolano

    (University of Basilicata)

Abstract

Background There has been much debate about the effectiveness of lockdown measures in containing COVID-19, and their appropriateness given the economic and social cost they entail. To the best of our knowledge, no existing contribution to the literature has attempted to gauge the effectiveness of lockdown measures over time in a longitudinal cross-country perspective. Objectives This paper aims to fill the gap in the literature by assessing, at an international level, the effect of lockdown measures (or the lack of such measures) on the numbers of new infections. Given this policy’s expected change in effectiveness over time, we also measure the effect of having a lockdown implemented over a given number of days (from 7 to 20 days). Methods We pursue our objectives by means of a quantitative panel analysis, building a longitudinal dataset with observations from countries all over the world, and estimating the impact of lockdown via feasible generalized least squares fixed effect, random effects, generalized estimating equation, and hierarchical linear models. Results Our results show that lockdown is effective in reducing the number of new cases in the countries that implement it, compared with those countries that do not. This is especially true around 10 days after the implementation of the policy. Its efficacy continues to grow up to 20 days after implementation. Conclusion Results suggest that lockdown is effective in reducing the R0, i.e. the number of people infected by each infected person, and that, unlike what has been suggested in previous analyses, its efficacy continues to hold 20 days after the introduction of the policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Vincenzo Alfano & Salvatore Ercolano, 2020. "The Efficacy of Lockdown Against COVID-19: A Cross-Country Panel Analysis," Applied Health Economics and Health Policy, Springer, vol. 18(4), pages 509-517, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:aphecp:v:18:y:2020:i:4:d:10.1007_s40258-020-00596-3
    DOI: 10.1007/s40258-020-00596-3
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Sardar, Tridip & Nadim, Sk Shahid & Rana, Sourav & Chattopadhyay, Joydev, 2020. "Assessment of lockdown effect in some states and overall India: A predictive mathematical study on COVID-19 outbreak," Chaos, Solitons & Fractals, Elsevier, vol. 139(C).
    2. Piguillem, Facundo & Shi, Liyan, 2020. "Optimal COVID-19 Quarantine and Testing Policies," CEPR Discussion Papers 14613, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Chris Sampson’s journal round-up for 27th July 2020
      by Chris Sampson in The Academic Health Economists' Blog on 2020-07-27 11:00:01

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    Cited by:

    1. Vincenzo Alfano & Salvatore Ercolano & Lorenzo Cicatiello, 2020. "A Synthetic Control Method Analysis of Schools Opening and Covid-19 Outbreak in Italy," CESifo Working Paper Series 8784, CESifo.
    2. Arnab K Ghosh & Sara Venkatraman & Evgeniya Reshetnyak & Mangala Rajan & Anjile An & John K Chae & Mark A Unruh & David Abramson & Charles DiMaggio & Nathaniel Hupert, 2022. "Association between city-wide lockdown and COVID-19 hospitalization rates in multigenerational households in New York City," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 17(3), pages 1-13, March.
    3. Alfano, Vincenzo & Ercolano, Salvatore, 2021. "Social capital, quality of institutions and lockdown. Evidence from Italian provinces," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 31-41.
    4. Katafuchi, Yuya, 2021. "Residential land price fluctuations caused by behavioral changes on work-from-home based on COVID-19," MPRA Paper 109310, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Wei, Runchu & Chen, Xia & Chang, Chun-Ping, 2021. "Does COVID-19 pandemic hurt stock prices of solar enterprises?," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 41-57.
    6. Vincenzo Alfano & Salvatore Ercolano, 2022. "Stay at Home! Governance Quality and Effectiveness of Lockdown," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 159(1), pages 101-123, January.
    7. Satoshi Sunohara & Toshiaki Asakura & Takashi Kimura & Shun Ozawa & Satoshi Oshima & Daigo Yamauchi & Akiko Tamakoshi, 2021. "Effective vaccine allocation strategies, balancing economy with infection control against COVID-19 in Japan," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 16(9), pages 1-14, September.
    8. Alfano, Vincenzo & Ercolano, Salvatore & Cicatiello, Lorenzo, 2021. "School openings and the COVID-19 outbreak in Italy. A provincial-level analysis using the synthetic control method," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 125(9), pages 1200-1207.
    9. Enerelt Murakami, 2022. "Immediate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on household economic activities and food security in Tajikistan," Economics of Disasters and Climate Change, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 259-291, July.
    10. Siqin Wang & Mengxi Zhang & Tao Hu & Xiaokang Fu & Zhe Gao & Briana Halloran & Yan Liu, 2021. "A Bibliometric Analysis and Network Visualisation of Human Mobility Studies from 1990 to 2020: Emerging Trends and Future Research Directions," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(10), pages 1-22, May.
    11. Alfano, Vincenzo & Ercolano, Salvatore & Pinto, Mauro, 2022. "Fighting the COVID pandemic: National policy choices in non-pharmaceutical interventions," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 22-40.
    12. Panarello, Demetrio & Tassinari, Giorgio, 2022. "One year of COVID-19 in Italy: are containment policies enough to shape the pandemic pattern?," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 79(C).
    13. Krista Danielle S. Yu & Kathleen B. Aviso & Joost R. Santos & Raymond R. Tan, 2020. "The Economic Impact of Lockdowns: A Persistent Inoperability Input-Output Approach," Economies, MDPI, vol. 8(4), pages 1-14, December.
    14. Yang, Qi-Cheng & Chen, Xia & Chang, Chun-Ping & Chen, Di & Hao, Yu, 2021. "What is the relationship between government response and COVID-19 pandemics? Global evidence of 118 countries," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 98-107.
    15. Qiang Fu & Chun-Ping Chang, 2021. "How Do Pandemics Affect Government Expenditures?," Asian Economics Letters, Asia-Pacific Applied Economics Association, vol. 2(1), pages 1-5.
    16. Stefania Kerekes & Ariadna Georgiana-Eugenia Badea & Dragos Paun, 2021. "Analyzing Lockdown Policies and Their Effectiveness in Romania and Hungary," Challenges, MDPI, vol. 12(2), pages 1-8, August.
    17. Rajeev K. Goel & Michael A. Nelson, 2021. "Drivers of COVID-19 vaccinations: vaccine delivery and delivery efficiency in the United States," Netnomics, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 53-69, June.
    18. Vincenzo Alfano, 2022. "Work ethics, stay-at-home measures and COVID-19 diffusion," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 23(5), pages 893-901, July.
    19. Lucas Hafemann, 2021. "The Nexus between lockdown Shocks and Economic Uncertainty: Empirical Evidence from a VAR model," MAGKS Papers on Economics 202132, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    20. Rajeev K. Goel & James W. Saunoris, 2022. "Explaining Vaccine Hesitancy: A Covid-19 Study of the United States," CESifo Working Paper Series 9658, CESifo.
    21. Vincenzo Alfano & Salvatore Ercolano & Gaetano Vecchione, 2020. "Religious Attendance and Covid-19. Evidences from Italian Regions," CESifo Working Paper Series 8596, CESifo.
    22. Iloanusi, Ogechukwu & Ross, Arun, 2021. "Leveraging weather data for forecasting cases-to-mortality rates due to COVID-19," Chaos, Solitons & Fractals, Elsevier, vol. 152(C).
    23. Vincenzo Alfano, 2022. "COVID-19 Diffusion Before Awareness: The Role of Football Match Attendance in Italy," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 23(5), pages 503-523, June.
    24. Rajeev K. Goel & Michael A. Nelson, 2021. "COVID-19 internet vaccination information and vaccine administration: evidence from the United States," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 45(4), pages 716-734, October.

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