Mitigation Policies and Emergency Care Management in Europe's Ground Zero for COVID-19

46 Pages Posted: 22 May 2020

See all articles by Gabriele Ciminelli

Gabriele Ciminelli

Asia School of Business in collaboration with MIT Sloan; Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) - Policy Studies Branch

Silvia Garcia-Mandicó

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Department of Applied Economics

Date Written: May 18, 2020

Abstract

This paper draws from daily death registry data on 4,000 Italian municipalities to investigate two crucial policies that can dramatically affect the toll of COVID-19: the shutdown of non-essential businesses and the management of the emergency care system. Our results, which are robust to controlling for a host of co-factors, offer strong evidence that the closure of service activities is very effective in reducing COVID-19 mortality – this was about 15% lower in municipalities with a 10 percentage points higher employment share in shut down services. Shutting down factories, instead, is much less effective, plausibly because factory workers engage in more limited physical interactions relative to those in the consumer-facing service sector. Concerning the management of the health care system, we find that mortality strongly increases with distance from the intensive care unit (ICU). Municipalities at 10 km from the closest ICU experienced up to 50% higher mortality. This effect – which is strongest within the epicenter and in days of abnormally high volumes of calls to the emergency line – underscores the importance of improving pre-hospital emergency services and building ambulance capacity to ensure timely transportation of critical patients to the ICU.

Note:

Funding: No external funding was received

Declaration of Interest: We do not have any interest to declare

Keywords: COVID-19, Italy, mortality, death registry data, mitigation, emergency care

JEL Classification: I10, I18, I30, J44

Suggested Citation

Ciminelli, Gabriele and Garcia-Mandicó, Silvia, Mitigation Policies and Emergency Care Management in Europe's Ground Zero for COVID-19 (May 18, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3604688 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3604688

Gabriele Ciminelli (Contact Author)

Asia School of Business in collaboration with MIT Sloan ( email )

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) - Policy Studies Branch ( email )

Paris
France

Silvia Garcia-Mandicó

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Department of Applied Economics ( email )

Netherlands

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