Is the Cure Worse than the Disease? County-Level Evidence from the Covid-19 Pandemic in the United States

37 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2020

See all articles by Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes

Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes

San Diego State University - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Neeraj Kaushal

Columbia University - School of Social Work; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Ashley Muchow

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 2020

Abstract

Using county-level data on COVID-19 mortality and infections, along with county-level information on the adoption of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) in the United States, we examine how the speed of NPI adoption affected COVID-19 mortality. Our estimates suggest that advancing the date of NPI adoption by one day lowers the COVID-19 death rate by 2.4 percent. This finding proves robust to alternative measures of NPI adoption speed, model specifications that control for testing and mobility, and across various samples: national, restricted to the Northeast region, excluding New York, and excluding the Northeast region. We also find that the adoption speed of NPIs is associated with lower infections, as well as lower non-COVID mortality, suggesting that these measures slowed contagion and the pace at which the healthcare system might have been overburdened by the pandemic. Finally, NPI adoption speed appears to have been less relevant in Republican counties, suggesting that political ideology might have compromised their efficiency.

Suggested Citation

Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina and Kaushal, Neeraj and Muchow, Ashley, Is the Cure Worse than the Disease? County-Level Evidence from the Covid-19 Pandemic in the United States (August 2020). NBER Working Paper No. w27759, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3683643

Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes (Contact Author)

San Diego State University - Department of Economics ( email )

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San Diego, CA 92182
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IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Neeraj Kaushal

Columbia University - School of Social Work ( email )

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New York, NY 10025
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Ashley Muchow

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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