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Social Distancing and the Economic Impact of Covid-19 in the United States

Author

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  • Constantin Bürgi
  • Nisan Gorgulu

Abstract

This study documents how the demographics of new infections and mortality changed over time across US counties. We find that counties with a larger population share aged above 60 were hit harder initially in terms of both cases and mortality in March and April while counties with a larger population share aged below 20 were hit harder in June and July. At the same time, how counties that voted Democratic in 2016 are affected does not change over time. Subsequently, we simulate an alternative evolution of the pandemic, assuming that states extended the lockdown measures until daily new cases reach the levels of European countries after their lockdown measures were relaxed. In the baseline simulation, we find that cases and deaths would have increased by around 50% less by the end of June, but it would have led to a 2 percentage point larger drop in Q2 GDP.

Suggested Citation

  • Constantin Bürgi & Nisan Gorgulu, 2020. "Social Distancing and the Economic Impact of Covid-19 in the United States," CESifo Working Paper Series 8577, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_8577
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Goto, Eiji & Bürgi, Constantin, 2021. "Sectoral Okun's law and cross-country cyclical differences," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 91-103.
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    RePEc Biblio mentions

    As found on the RePEc Biblio, the curated bibliography for Economics:
    1. > Economics of Welfare > Health Economics > Economics of Pandemics > Specific pandemics > Covid-19 > Health > Distancing and Lockdown

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    spatial population distribution; pandemic; Covid-19; lockdown; stay-at-home order; economic impact; non-pharmaceutical interventions;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods
    • H12 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Crisis Management
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes

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