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

31 Pages Posted: 9 Jun 2020

See all articles by Timo Mitze

Timo Mitze

University of Southern Denmark

Reinhold Kosfeld

University of Kassel - Economics

Johannes Rode

Technische Universität Darmstadt

Klaus Wälde

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz - Gutenberg School of Economics and Management

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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%.

Keywords: COVID-19, public health measures, face masks, synthetic control method, Germany

JEL Classification: I18, C23

Suggested Citation

Mitze, Timo and Kosfeld, Reinhold and Rode, Johannes and Wälde, Klaus, Face Masks Considerably Reduce Covid-19 Cases in Germany: A Synthetic Control Method Approach. IZA Discussion Paper No. 13319, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3620634

Timo Mitze (Contact Author)

University of Southern Denmark ( email )

Campusvej 55
DK-5230 Odense, 5000
Denmark

Reinhold Kosfeld

University of Kassel - Economics ( email )

Nora-Platiel Str. 4
34109 Kassel
Germany

Johannes Rode

Technische Universität Darmstadt ( email )

Chair of International Economics
Hochschulstraße 1
Darmstadt, 64289
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.vwl2.wi.tu-darmstadt.de/rode

Klaus Wälde

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz - Gutenberg School of Economics and Management ( email )

Mainz
Germany

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