IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/arx/papers/2005.14168.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Causal Impact of Masks, Policies, Behavior on Early Covid-19 Pandemic in the U.S

Author

Listed:
  • Victor Chernozhukov
  • Hiroyuki Kasaha
  • Paul Schrimpf

Abstract

This paper evaluates the dynamic impact of various policies adopted by US states on the growth rates of confirmed Covid-19 cases and deaths as well as social distancing behavior measured by Google Mobility Reports, where we take into consideration people's voluntarily behavioral response to new information of transmission risks. Our analysis finds that both policies and information on transmission risks are important determinants of Covid-19 cases and deaths and shows that a change in policies explains a large fraction of observed changes in social distancing behavior. Our counterfactual experiments suggest that nationally mandating face masks for employees on April 1st could have reduced the growth rate of cases and deaths by more than 10 percentage points in late April, and could have led to as much as 17 to 55 percent less deaths nationally by the end of May, which roughly translates into 17 to 55 thousand saved lives. Our estimates imply that removing non-essential business closures (while maintaining school closures, restrictions on movie theaters and restaurants) could have led to -20 to 60 percent more cases and deaths by the end of May. We also find that, without stay-at-home orders, cases would have been larger by 25 to 170 percent, which implies that 0.5 to 3.4 million more Americans could have been infected if stay-at-home orders had not been implemented. Finally, not having implemented any policies could have led to at least a 7 fold increase with an uninformative upper bound in cases (and deaths) by the end of May in the US, with considerable uncertainty over the effects of school closures, which had little cross-sectional variation.

Suggested Citation

  • Victor Chernozhukov & Hiroyuki Kasaha & Paul Schrimpf, 2020. "Causal Impact of Masks, Policies, Behavior on Early Covid-19 Pandemic in the U.S," Papers 2005.14168, arXiv.org, revised Oct 2020.
  • Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:2005.14168
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://arxiv.org/pdf/2005.14168
    File Function: Latest version
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Coibion, Olivier & Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & Weber, Michael, 2020. "Labor Markets During the Covid-19 Crisis: A Preliminary View," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt7rx7t91p, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    2. Wright, Austin L. & Sonin, Konstantin & Driscoll, Jesse & Wilson, Jarnickae, 2020. "Poverty and economic dislocation reduce compliance with COVID-19 shelter-in-place protocols," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 180(C), pages 544-554.
    3. Kovacs, Roxanne & Dunaiski, Maurice & Tukiainen, Janne, 2020. "Compulsory face mask policies do not affect community mobility in Germany," EconStor Preprints 218945, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    4. Victor Chernozhukov & Denis Chetverikov & Mert Demirer & Esther Duflo & Christian Hansen & Whitney Newey & James Robins, 2018. "Double/debiased machine learning for treatment and structural parameters," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 21(1), pages 1-68, February.
    5. Jérôme Adda, 2016. "Economic Activity and the Spread of Viral Diseases: Evidence from High Frequency Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 131(2), pages 891-941.
    6. Mitze, Timo & Kosfeld, Reinhold & Rode, Johannes & Wälde, Klaus, 2020. "Face masks considerably reduce COVID-19 cases in Germany," Publications of Darmstadt Technical University, Institute for Business Studies (BWL) 124130, Darmstadt Technical University, Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law, Institute for Business Studies (BWL).
    7. Fernando Alvarez & David Argente, 2020. "A Simple Planning Problem for COVID-19 Lockdown," Working Papers 2020-34, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.
    8. Mitze, Timo & Kosfeld, Reinhold & Rode, Johannes & Wälde, Klaus, 2020. "Face masks considerably reduce COVID-19 cases in Germany," Publications of Darmstadt Technical University, Institute for Business Studies (BWL) 124587, Darmstadt Technical University, Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law, Institute for Business Studies (BWL).
    9. Shuowen Chen & Victor Chernozhukov & Iván Fernández-Val, 2019. "Mastering Panel Metrics: Causal Impact of Democracy on Growth," AEA Papers and Proceedings, American Economic Association, vol. 109, pages 77-82, May.
    10. J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), 2007. "Handbook of Econometrics," Handbook of Econometrics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 6, number 6b.
    11. James H. Stock, 2020. "Data Gaps and the Policy Response to the Novel Coronavirus," NBER Working Papers 26902, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Daron Acemoglu & Victor Chernozhukov & Iván Werning & Michael D. Whinston, 2021. "Optimal Targeted Lockdowns in a Multigroup SIR Model," American Economic Review: Insights, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 487-502, December.
    13. Fernández-Villaverde, Jesús & Jones, Charles I., 2022. "Estimating and simulating a SIRD Model of COVID-19 for many countries, states, and cities," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 140(C).
    14. Heckman, James & Pinto, Rodrigo, 2015. "Causal Analysis After Haavelmo," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 31(1), pages 115-151, February.
    15. Sumedha Gupta & Thuy D. Nguyen & Felipe Lozano Rojas & Shyam Raman & Byungkyu Lee & Ana Bento & Kosali I. Simon & Coady Wing, 2020. "Tracking Public and Private Responses to the COVID-19 Epidemic: Evidence from State and Local Government Actions," NBER Working Papers 27027, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Andrew Atkeson, 2020. "What Will be the Economic Impact of COVID-19 in the US? Rough Estimates of Disease Scenarios," Staff Report 595, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    17. James J. Heckman & Vytlacil, Edward J., 2007. "Econometric Evaluation of Social Programs, Part I: Causal Models, Structural Models and Econometric Policy Evaluation," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 6, chapter 70, Elsevier.
    18. Andrew Atkeson, 2020. "How Deadly is COVID-19? Understanding the Difficulties with Estimation of its Fatality Rate," Staff Report 598, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    19. David Baqaee & Emmanuel Farhi & Michael J. Mina & James H. Stock, 2020. "Reopening Scenarios," NBER Working Papers 27244, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Seres, Gyula & Balleyer, Anna & Cerutti, Nicola & Friedrichsen, Jana & Süer, Müge, 2020. "Face mask use and physical distancing before and after mandatory masking: Evidence from public waiting lines," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economics of Change SP II 2020-305, WZB Berlin Social Science Center.
    21. J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), 2007. "Handbook of Econometrics," Handbook of Econometrics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 6, number 6a.
    22. Solomon Hsiang & Daniel Allen & Sébastien Annan-Phan & Kendon Bell & Ian Bolliger & Trinetta Chong & Hannah Druckenmiller & Luna Yue Huang & Andrew Hultgren & Emma Krasovich & Peiley Lau & Jaecheol Le, 2020. "The effect of large-scale anti-contagion policies on the COVID-19 pandemic," Nature, Nature, vol. 584(7820), pages 262-267, August.
    23. Arda Gitmez & Konstantine Sonin & Austin L. Wright, 2020. "Political Economy of Crisis Response," Working Papers 2020-68, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.
    24. Jeffrey E. Harris, 2020. "The Subways Seeded the Massive Coronavirus Epidemic in New York City," NBER Working Papers 27021, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    25. Christopher Avery & William Bossert & Adam Clark & Glenn Ellison & Sara Fisher Ellison, 2020. "Policy Implications of Models of the Spread of Coronavirus: Perspectives and Opportunities for Economists," NBER Working Papers 27007, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    26. Sang-Wook (Stanley) Cho, 2020. "Quantifying the impact of nonpharmaceutical interventions during the COVID-19 outbreak: The case of Sweden," The Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 23(3), pages 323-344.
    27. Paul Hunermund & Elias Bareinboim, 2019. "Causal Inference and Data Fusion in Econometrics," Papers 1912.09104, arXiv.org, revised Mar 2021.
    28. Alexander W. Bartik & Marianne Bertrand & Feng Lin & Jesse Rothstein & Matt Unrath, 2020. "Measuring the labor market at the onset of the COVID-19 crisis," NBER Working Papers 27613, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    29. Christopher Avery & William Bossert & Adam Thomas Clark & Glenn Ellison & Sara Ellison, 2020. "Policy Implications of Models of the Spread of Coronavirus: Perspectives and Opportunities for Economists," CESifo Working Paper Series 8293, CESifo.
    30. David McAdams, 2020. "Nash SIR: An Economic-Epidemiological Model of Strategic Behavior During a Viral Epidemic," Papers 2006.10109, arXiv.org.
    31. Sims, Christopher A, 1972. "Money, Income, and Causality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(4), pages 540-552, September.
    32. Imbens,Guido W. & Rubin,Donald B., 2015. "Causal Inference for Statistics, Social, and Biomedical Sciences," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521885881, December.
    33. Maloney,William F. & Taskin,Temel, 2020. "Determinants of Social Distancing and Economic Activity during COVID-19 : A Global View," Policy Research Working Paper Series 9242, The World Bank.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Garriga, Carlos & Manuelli, Rody & Sanghi, Siddhartha, 2022. "Optimal management of an epidemic: Lockdown, vaccine and value of life," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 140(C).
    2. Pablo D. Fajgelbaum & Amit Khandelwal & Wookun Kim & Cristiano Mantovani & Edouard Schaal, 2021. "Optimal Lockdown in a Commuting Network," American Economic Review: Insights, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 503-522, December.
    3. Lee, Sokbae & Liao, Yuan & Seo, Myung Hwan & Shin, Youngki, 2021. "Sparse HP filter: Finding kinks in the COVID-19 contact rate," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 220(1), pages 158-180.
    4. Guillaume Vandenbroucke, 2020. "The Mechanics of Individually- and Socially-Optimal Decisions during an Epidemic," Working Papers 2020-013, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, revised 14 Sep 2021.
    5. Léa BOU SLEIMAN & Germain GAUTHIER, 2020. "COVID-19: Reduced forms have gone viral, but what do they tell us?," Working Papers 2020-32, Center for Research in Economics and Statistics, revised 18 Jan 2021.
    6. Fernández-Villaverde, Jesús & Jones, Charles I, 2020. "Macroeconomic Outcomes and COVID-19: A Progress Report," CEPR Discussion Papers 15393, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Daron Acemoglu & Victor Chernozhukov & Iván Werning & Michael D. Whinston, 2021. "Optimal Targeted Lockdowns in a Multigroup SIR Model," American Economic Review: Insights, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 487-502, December.
    8. Korolev, Ivan, 2021. "Identification and estimation of the SEIRD epidemic model for COVID-19," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 220(1), pages 63-85.
    9. Jonas E. Arias & Jesús Fernández-Villaverde & Juan F. Rubio-Ramirez & Minchul Shin, 2021. "Bayesian Estimation of Epidemiological Models: Methods, Causality, and Policy Trade-Offs," Working Papers 21-18, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    10. Miguel Casares & Paul Gomme & Hashmat Khan, 2020. "COVID-19 Pandemic and Economic Scenarios For Ontario," Carleton Economic Papers 20-15, Carleton University, Department of Economics, revised 05 Feb 2021.
    11. Fernández-Villaverde, Jesús & Jones, Charles I., 2022. "Estimating and simulating a SIRD Model of COVID-19 for many countries, states, and cities," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 140(C).
    12. Jonas E. Arias & Jesús Fernández-Villaverde & Juan F. Rubio-Ramírez & Minchul Shin, 2021. "Bayesian Estimation of Epidemiological Models: Methods, Causality, and Policy Trade-Offs," CESifo Working Paper Series 8977, CESifo.
    13. Daron Acemoglu & Victor Chernozhukov & Ivàn Werning & Michael D. Whinston, 2020. "A Multi-Risk SIR Model with Optimally Targeted Lockdown," CeMMAP working papers CWP14/20, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    14. Guimarães, Luís, 2021. "Antibody tests: They are more important than we thought," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(C).
    15. Michael Barnett & Greg Buchak & Constantine Yannelis, 2020. "Epidemic Responses Under Uncertainty," Working Papers 2020-72, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.
    16. Michel Mouchart & Renzo Orsi, 2016. "Building a Structural Model: Parameterization and Structurality," Econometrics, MDPI, vol. 4(2), pages 1-16, April.
    17. Jesper Akesson & Sam Ashworth-Hayes & Robert Hahn & Robert Metcalfe & Itzhak Rasooly, 2022. "Fatalism, beliefs, and behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 64(2), pages 147-190, April.
    18. David Berger & Kyle Herkenhoff & Chengdai Huang & Simon Mongey, 2022. "Testing and Reopening in an SEIR Model," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 43, pages 1-21, January.
    19. Alberto Bisin & Andrea Moro, 2020. "Learning Epidemiology by Doing: The Empirical Implications of a Spatial-SIR Model with Behavioral Responses," NBER Working Papers 27590, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Attar, M. Aykut & Tekin-Koru, Ayça, 2022. "Latent social distancing: Identification, causes and consequences," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 46(1).

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:arx:papers:2005.14168. 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: http://arxiv.org/ .

    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.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with 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: arXiv administrators (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://arxiv.org/ .

    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.