Preventing COVID-19 Fatalities: State versus Federal Policies

53 Pages Posted: 29 Oct 2020 Last revised: 15 Dec 2020

See all articles by Jean-Paul Renne

Jean-Paul Renne

University of Lausanne - School of Economics and Business Administration (HEC-Lausanne)

Guillaume Roussellet

McGill University - Desautels Faculty of Management

Gustavo Schwenkler

Santa Clara University - Department of Finance

Date Written: October 27, 2020

Abstract

Are COVID-19 fatalities large when a federal government does not enforce containment policies and instead allow states to implement their own policies? We answer this question by developing a stochastic extension of a SIRD epidemiological model for a country composed of multiple states. Our model allows for interstate mobility. We consider three policies: mask mandates, stay-at-home orders, and interstate travel bans. We fit our model to daily U.S. state-level COVID-19 death counts and exploit our estimates to produce various policy counterfactuals. While the restrictions imposed by some states inhibited a significant number of virus deaths, we find that more than two-thirds of U.S. COVID-19 deaths could have been prevented by late November 2020 had the federal government enforced federal mandates as early as some of the earliest states did. Our results quantify the benefits of early actions by a federal government for the containment of a pandemic.

Suggested Citation

Renne, Jean-Paul and Roussellet, Guillaume and Schwenkler, Gustavo, Preventing COVID-19 Fatalities: State versus Federal Policies (October 27, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3720947 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3720947

Jean-Paul Renne

University of Lausanne - School of Economics and Business Administration (HEC-Lausanne) ( email )

UNIL, Batiment Internef
Lausanne, 1015
Switzerland

Guillaume Roussellet

McGill University - Desautels Faculty of Management ( email )

1001 Sherbrooke St. West
Montreal, Quebec H3A1G5 H3A 2M1
Canada

Gustavo Schwenkler (Contact Author)

Santa Clara University - Department of Finance ( email )

Santa Clara, CA 95053
United States

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