IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

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


  • Vincenzo Alfano

    (University of Napoli Federico II)

  • Salvatore Ercolano

    (University of Basilicata)


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

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Abstract
    Download Restriction: Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Blog mentions

    As found by, 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


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    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.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:aphecp:v:18:y:2020:i:4:d:10.1007_s40258-020-00596-3. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no bibliographic references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Sonal Shukla or Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.