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Partial Lockdown and the Spread of COVID-19: Lessons from the Italian Case

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  • di Porto, Edoardo

    (University of Naples Federico II)

  • Naticchioni, Paolo

    (Roma Tre University)

  • Scrutinio, Vincenzo

    (University of Bologna)

Abstract

This paper investigates the effect of the lockdown on COVID-19 infections. After the 22nd of March 2020, the Italian government shut down many economic activities to limit the contagion. Sectors deemed essentials for the economy were, however, allowed to remain active. We exploit the distribution of the density of essential workers across provinces and rich administrative data in a difference in difference framework. We find that a standard deviation increase in essential workers per square kilometre leads to an additional daily registered case per 100,000 inhabitants. This is a sizeable impact, and it represents about 18% of the daily increase in COVID-19 cases after the 22nd of March. Back of envelope computations suggest that the about one third of the cases considered could be attributed to the less stringent lockdown for essential sectors, with an additional 107 million Euros in direct expenditure. Although this assessment should be taken with caution, this suggests that the less stringent lockdown came at moderate public health related economic costs. In addition, we find that these effects are heterogeneous across sectors, with services having a much larger impact than Manufacturing, while there are only small differences across geographic areas. These results are stable across a wide range of specifications and robustness check.

Suggested Citation

  • di Porto, Edoardo & Naticchioni, Paolo & Scrutinio, Vincenzo, 2020. "Partial Lockdown and the Spread of COVID-19: Lessons from the Italian Case," IZA Discussion Papers 13375, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp13375
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    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 > Effect on Health

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    Cited by:

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    2. Brandily, Paul & Brébion, Clément & Briole, Simon & Khoury, Laura, 2021. "A poorly understood disease? The impact of COVID-19 on the income gradient in mortality over the course of the pandemic," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 140(C).
    3. Deiana, Claudio & Geraci, Andrea & Mazzarella, Gianluca & Sabatini, Fabio, 2022. "Can relief measures nudge compliance in a public health crisis? Evidence from a kinked fiscal policy rule," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 202(C), pages 407-428.
    4. Wolter H. J. Hassink & Guyonne Kalb & Jordy Meekes, 2021. "Regional Coronavirus Hotspots During the COVID-19 Outbreak in the Netherlands," De Economist, Springer, vol. 169(2), pages 127-140, May.
    5. Manuel Pérez Trujillo & Miguel Atienza, 2021. "The Initial Labor Market Conditions in Developing Economies as a Factor in Understanding the Progression of SARS-CoV-2: The Case of Chile," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(4), pages 1-20, February.
    6. Paul Brandily & Clément Brébion & Simon Briole & Laura Khoury, 2021. "A Poorly Understood Disease? The Evolution of the Income Gradient in Excess Mortality Due to COVID-19 within Urban Areas," Working Papers halshs-03154551, HAL.
    7. Deiana, Claudio & Geraci, Andrea & Mazzarella, Gianluca & Sabatini, Fabio, 2021. "COVID-19 Relief Programs and Compliance with Confinement Measures," IZA Discussion Papers 14064, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. Armillei, Francesco & Filippucci, Francesco & Fletcher, Thomas, 2021. "Did Covid-19 hit harder in peripheral areas? The case of Italian municipalities," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 42(C).
    9. Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina & Borra, Cristina & Rivera-Garrido, Noelia & Sevilla, Almudena, 2021. "Early adoption of non-pharmaceutical interventions and COVID-19 mortality," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 42(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    essential sectors; lockdown; COVID-19;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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