Using Difference-in-Differences to Identify Causal Effects of COVID-19 Policies
10 Pages Posted: 18 May 2020
Date Written: May 2020
Policymakers have implemented a wide range of non-pharmaceutical interventions to ﬁght the spread of COVID-19. Variation in policies across jurisdictions and over time strongly suggests a difference-in-differences (DD) research design to estimate causal effects of counter-COVID measures. We discuss threats to the validity of these DD designs and make recommendations about how researchers can avoid bias, interpret results accurately, and provide sound guidance to policymakers seeking to protect public health and facilitate an eventual economic recovery.
Keywords: Difference-in-differences, non-pharmaceutical interventions, COVID-19, causal inference
JEL Classification: C1,I18
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation