Fighting Against COVID-19 Requires Wearing a Face Mask by Not Some but All

56 Pages Posted: 11 Sep 2020

See all articles by HAKAN YILMAZKUDAY

HAKAN YILMAZKUDAY

Florida International University (FIU) - Department of Economics

Date Written: September 3, 2020

Abstract

This paper investigates the effects of wearing a face mask on fighting against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The formal analysis is achieved by using a difference-in-difference design, where U.S. county-level data on changes in COVID-19 cases or deaths are regressed on lagged changes in social interaction of people measured by Google mobility. The main contribution is achieved by distinguishing between the effects of social interaction on COVID-19 in mask-wearing versus non-mask-wearing counties determined by Dynata surveys. After controlling for county-specific and time-specific factors, the results show that social interaction causally increases both COVID-19 cases and deaths across U.S. counties. Wearing a face mask starts working to fight against COVID-19 only if more than 75% of people in a county "always" wear a face mask, while the effects of social interaction on COVID-19 are statistically eliminated when more than 85% of people in a county "always" wear a face mask.

Note: Funding: None to declare

Declaration of Interest: None to declare

Keywords: COVID-19, Coronavirus, Social Interaction, Face Masks, U.S. Counties

JEL Classification: I10, I18

Suggested Citation

YILMAZKUDAY, HAKAN, Fighting Against COVID-19 Requires Wearing a Face Mask by Not Some but All (September 3, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3686283 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3686283

HAKAN YILMAZKUDAY (Contact Author)

Florida International University (FIU) - Department of Economics ( email )

11200 SW 8th Street
Miami, FL 33199
United States

HOME PAGE: http://faculty.fiu.edu/~hyilmazk/

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