Using Soccer Games as an Instrument to Forecast the Spread of COVID-19 in Europe
22 Pages Posted: 5 Oct 2020 Last revised: 22 Feb 2021
Date Written: September 28, 2020
We provide strong empirical support for the contribution of soccer games held in Europe to the spread of the COVID-19 virus in March 2020. We analyze more than 1,000 games across 194 regions from 10 European countries. Daily cases of COVID-19 grow significantly faster in regions where at least one soccer game took place two weeks earlier, consistent with the existence of an incubation period. These results weaken as we include stadiums with smaller capacity. We discuss the relevance of these variables as instruments for the identification of the causal effect of COVID-19 on firms, the economy, and financial markets.
Note: Funding: Research Reported in this paper was partially funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MCIU), State Research Agency (AEI) and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Grant No. PGC2018-101745-A-I00.
Conflict of Interest: None.
Keywords: COVID-19, soccer, super-spreaders, instrumental variables, identification strategy
JEL Classification: I18, C36, G01
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation