U.S. COVID-19 Deaths: The Weekend-Effect 'Mystery'

14 Pages Posted: 3 Aug 2020

See all articles by Keith Gandal

Keith Gandal

City College of New York, Department of English

Neil Gandal

Berglas School of Economics, Tel Aviv University; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: July 25, 2020

Abstract

In this paper, we examine U.S. COVID-19 deaths by day of the week. Mysteriously, the same pattern has repeated every single week of the pandemic: deaths rise from Tuesday-Friday and come down Saturday-Monday, hitting a nadir on Sunday or Monday. We show that such deaths are substantially higher during the Tuesday to Friday period than they are during the Saturday to Monday period. Controlling for time trends, deaths during the Tuesday to Friday period are at least 40 percent higher than the Saturday to Monday period.

The weekend effect does not obtain in New York City. Without New York City, controlling for time trends, deaths during the Tuesday to Friday period in the U.S. are 50 percent higher than the Saturday to Monday period. This is much larger than the “weekend” effect for the rest of the world (approximately 20 percent.) We provide some preliminary thoughts as to why this obtains in the case of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S., but not those in New York City. Further research is encouraged.

Note: Funding: None to declare

Declaration of Interest: None to declare

Keywords: COVID-19, coronavirus, COVID-19 Deaths, U.S. Deaths, New York Deaths, Worldwide Deaths

JEL Classification: I1

Suggested Citation

Gandal, Keith and Gandal, Neil, U.S. COVID-19 Deaths: The Weekend-Effect 'Mystery' (July 25, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3654952 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3654952

Keith Gandal

City College of New York, Department of English ( email )

New York, NY
United States

Neil Gandal (Contact Author)

Berglas School of Economics, Tel Aviv University ( email )

Tel Aviv University
Tel Aviv 69978
Israel
+972 3 640 9907 (Phone)
+972 3 640 9908 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.neilgandal.com/

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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