IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp13319.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Face Masks Considerably Reduce COVID-19 Cases in Germany: A Synthetic Control Method Approach

Author

Listed:
  • Mitze, Timo

    (University of Southern Denmark)

  • Kosfeld, Reinhold

    (University of Kassel)

  • Rode, Johannes

    (Darmstadt University of Technology)

  • Wälde, Klaus

    (University of Mainz)

Abstract

We use the synthetic control method to analyze the effect of face masks on the spread of Covid-19 in Germany. Our identification approach exploits regional variation in the point in time when face masks became compulsory. Depending on the region we analyse, we find that face masks reduced the cumulative number of registered Covid-19 cases between 2.3% and 13% over a period of 10 days after they became compulsory. Assessing the credibility of the various estimates, we conclude that face masks reduce the daily growth rate of reported infections by around 40%.

Suggested Citation

  • Mitze, Timo & Kosfeld, Reinhold & Rode, Johannes & Wälde, Klaus, 2020. "Face Masks Considerably Reduce COVID-19 Cases in Germany: A Synthetic Control Method Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 13319, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp13319
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://docs.iza.org/dp13319.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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).
    2. 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).
    3. Mitze, Timo & Kosfeld, Reinhold & Rode, Johannes & Wälde, Klaus, 2020. "Face Masks Considerably Reduce COVID-19 Cases in Germany: A Synthetic Control Method Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 13319, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Alberto Abadie & Javier Gardeazabal, 2003. "The Economic Costs of Conflict: A Case Study of the Basque Country," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 113-132, March.
    5. Sebastian Galiani & Brian Quistorff, 2017. "The synth runner package: Utilities to automate synthetic control estimation using synth," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 17(4), pages 834-849, December.
    6. Noémi Kreif & Richard Grieve & Dominik Hangartner & Alex James Turner & Silviya Nikolova & Matt Sutton, 2016. "Examination of the Synthetic Control Method for Evaluating Health Policies with Multiple Treated Units," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(12), pages 1514-1528, December.
    7. Jean Roch Donsimoni & René Glawion & Bodo Plachter & Constantin Weiser & Klaus Wälde, 2020. "Should contact bans be lifted in Germany?," Working Papers 2008, Gutenberg School of Management and Economics, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz.
    8. Hu, Luojia & Kaestner, Robert & Mazumder, Bhashkar & Miller, Sarah & Wong, Ashley, 2018. "The effect of the affordable care act Medicaid expansions on financial wellbeing," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 163(C), pages 99-112.
    9. Andrew I. Friedson & Drew McNichols & Joseph J. Sabia & Dhaval Dave, 2020. "Did California’s Shelter-in-Place Order Work? Early Coronavirus-Related Public Health Effects," NBER Working Papers 26992, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Jean Roch Donsimoni & René Glawion & Bodo Plachter & Constantin Weiser & Klaus Wälde, 2020. "Should Contact Bans Be Lifted in Germany? A Quantitative Prediction of Its Effects," CESifo Working Paper Series 8242, CESifo.
    11. Abadie, Alberto & Diamond, Alexis & Hainmueller, Jens, 2010. "Synthetic Control Methods for Comparative Case Studies: Estimating the Effect of California’s Tobacco Control Program," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 105(490), pages 493-505.
    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. 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).
    2. Martin Huber & Henrika Langen, 2020. "Timing matters: the impact of response measures on COVID-19-related hospitalization and death rates in Germany and Switzerland," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics, Springer;Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics, vol. 156(1), pages 1-19, December.
    3. Roy Cerqueti & Raffaella Coppier & Alessandro Girardi & Marco Ventura, 2022. "The sooner the better: lives saved by the lockdown during the COVID-19 outbreak. The case of Italy [Using synthetic controls: Feasibility, data requirements, and methodological aspects]," The Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 25(1), pages 46-70.
    4. Benjamin Born & Alexander M Dietrich & Gernot J Müller, 2021. "The lockdown effect: A counterfactual for Sweden," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 16(4), pages 1-13, April.
    5. Augusto Cerqua & Roberta Di Stefano, 2022. "When did coronavirus arrive in Europe?," Statistical Methods & Applications, Springer;Società Italiana di Statistica, vol. 31(1), pages 181-195, March.
    6. Zhang, Yue-Jun & Cheng, Hao-Sen, 2021. "The impact mechanism of the ETS on CO2 emissions from the service sector: Evidence from Beijing and Shanghai," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 173(C).
    7. Demidova, Olga, 2021. "Methods of spatial econometrics and evaluation of government programs effectiveness," Applied Econometrics, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), vol. 64, pages 107-134.
    8. Alexander S. Skorobogatov, 2021. "The effect of alcohol sales restrictions on alcohol poisoning mortality: Evidence from Russia," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(6), pages 1417-1442, June.
    9. Jaume Puig‐Junoy & Jaime Pinilla, 2020. "Free prescriptions for low‐income pensioners? The cost of returning to free‐of‐charge drugs in the Spanish National Health Service," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(12), pages 1804-1812, December.
    10. Gaughan, James & Gutacker, Nils & Grašič, Katja & Kreif, Noemi & Siciliani, Luigi & Street, Andrew, 2019. "Paying for efficiency: Incentivising same-day discharges in the English NHS," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(C).
    11. 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.
    12. Carl Bonander & Mats Ekman & Niklas Jakobsson, 2022. "Vaccination nudges: A study of pre-booked COVID-19 vaccinations in Sweden," Papers 2202.04931, arXiv.org, revised Jul 2022.
    13. Daniel Albalate & Germà Bel & Ferran A. Mazaira-Font, 2020. "Ensuring Stability, Accuracy and Meaningfulness in Synthetic Control Methods: The Regularized SHAP-Distance Method," IREA Working Papers 202005, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Apr 2020.
    14. Bruno Ferman & Cristine Pinto & Vitor Possebom, 2020. "Cherry Picking with Synthetic Controls," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 39(2), pages 510-532, March.
    15. Irene Botosaru & Bruno Ferman, 2019. "On the role of covariates in the synthetic control method," The Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 22(2), pages 117-130.
    16. Camilla Beck Olsen & Hans Olav Melberg, 2018. "Did adolescents in Norway respond to the elimination of copayments for general practitioner services?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(7), pages 1120-1130, July.
    17. López-Cazar, Ibeth & Papyrakis, Elissaios & Pellegrini, Lorenzo, 2021. "The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and corruption in Latin America: Evidence from Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Peru, and Trinidad and Tobago," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 70(C).
    18. Austin L. Wright & Geet Chawla & Luke Chen & Anthony Farmer, 2020. "Tracking Mask Mandates during the COVID-19 Pandemic," Working Papers 2020-104, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.
    19. Avdic, Daniel & von Hinke, Stephanie, 2021. "Extending alcohol retailers’ opening hours: Evidence from Sweden," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 138(C).
    20. Gius, Mark, 2020. "Examining the impact of child access prevention laws on youth firearm suicides using the synthetic control method," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(C).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    COVID-19; public health measures; face masks; synthetic control method; Germany;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

    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:iza:izadps:dp13319. 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: https://edirc.repec.org/data/izaaade.html .

    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: Holger Hinte (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/izaaade.html .

    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.