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

29 Pages Posted: 22 Jun 2020

See all articles by Edoardo Di Porto

Edoardo Di Porto

CSEF - University of Naples Federico II - Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF)

Paolo Naticchioni

University of Roma

Vincenzo Scrutinio

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.

Keywords: COVID-19, lockdown, essential sectors

JEL Classification: J18, I18

Suggested Citation

Di Porto, Edoardo and Naticchioni, Paolo and Scrutinio, Vincenzo, Partial Lockdown and the Spread of Covid-19: Lessons from the Italian Case. IZA Discussion Paper No. 13375, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3631585 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3631585

Edoardo Di Porto (Contact Author)

CSEF - University of Naples Federico II - Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF) ( email )

Via Cintia
Complesso Monte S. Angelo
Naples, Naples 80126
Italy

Paolo Naticchioni

University of Roma ( email )

Roma
Italy

Vincenzo Scrutinio

University of Bologna

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