The 'Great Lockdown': Inactive Workers and Mortality by COVID-19

48 Pages Posted: 29 Sep 2020 Last revised: 25 Oct 2021

See all articles by Nicola Borri

Nicola Borri

LUISS University - Department of Economics and Finance

Francesco Drago

University of Messina, CSEF & CEPR

Chiara Santantonio

Luiss University of Rome

Francesco Sobbrio

University of Rome Tor Vergata - Department of Economics and Finance; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 1, 2020

Abstract

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak the Italian Government imposed an economic lockdown on March 22, 2020 and ordered the closing of all non-essential economic activities. This paper estimates the causal effects of this measure on mortality by COVID-19 and on mobility patterns. The identification of the causal effects exploits the variation in the active population across municipalities induced by the economic lockdown. The difference-in-differences empirical design compares outcomes in municipalities above and below the median variation in the share of active population before and after the lockdown within a province, also controlling for municipality-specific dynamics, daily-shocks at the provincial level and municipal unobserved characteristics. Our results show that the intensity of the economic lockdown is associated with a statistically significant reduction in mortality by Covid-19 and, in particular, for age groups between 40-64 and older (with larger and more significant effects for individuals above 50). Back of the envelope calculations indicate that 4,793 deaths were avoided, in the 26 days between April 5 to April 30, in the 3,518 municipalities which experienced a more intense lockdown. Several robustness checks corroborate our empirical findings.

Note: Funding: None to declare

Declaration of Interest: None to declare

Keywords: COVID-19, Economic Lockdown, Excess Deaths, Mobility

JEL Classification: H51, I10, I18, I30

Suggested Citation

Borri, Nicola and Drago, Francesco and Santantonio, Chiara and Sobbrio, Francesco, The 'Great Lockdown': Inactive Workers and Mortality by COVID-19 (June 1, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3689120 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3689120

Nicola Borri

LUISS University - Department of Economics and Finance ( email )

viale Romania, 32
Rome, 00197
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://docenti.luiss.it/borri/

Francesco Drago

University of Messina, CSEF & CEPR ( email )

Piazza Pugliatti 1
Messina
Italy

Chiara Santantonio

Luiss University of Rome ( email )

Viale Romania 32
Rome, 00197
Italy

Francesco Sobbrio (Contact Author)

University of Rome Tor Vergata - Department of Economics and Finance ( email )

Via columbia 2
Rome, Rome 00123
Italy

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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