Estimating the Effect of State-Level Stay-at-Home Orders

12 Pages Posted: 26 May 2020 Last revised: 22 Sep 2020

See all articles by William J. Luther

William J. Luther

Florida Atlantic University; American Institute for Economic Research

Date Written: May 26, 2020


As fear of COVID-19 spread in early 2020, individuals began reducing their activity outside the home and governments adopted policies to slow the spread. With this in mind, I estimate the average effect of state-level stay-at-home orders on Google Mobility data while controlling for changes in the perceived risk of the pandemic over time. In general, I find that state-level stay-at-home orders appear to account for little of the observed change in activity.

Keywords: coronavirus, COVID-19, disease, stay-at-home order, pandemic, virus

JEL Classification: E73, H75, E77, I12, I18

Suggested Citation

Luther, William J., Estimating the Effect of State-Level Stay-at-Home Orders (May 26, 2020). AIER Sound Money Project Working Paper No. 2020-09, Available at SSRN: or

William J. Luther (Contact Author)

Florida Atlantic University ( email )

777 Glades Road
Boca Raton, FL 33431
United States


American Institute for Economic Research ( email )

PO Box 1000
Great Barrington, MA 01230
United States


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