Spreading the Disease: Protest in Times of Pandemics

49 Pages Posted: 18 Feb 2021

See all articles by Martin Lange

Martin Lange

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research

Ole Monscheuer

Humboldt University of Berlin

Date Written: 2021

Abstract

This study analyzes the impact of COVID-19 deniers on the spread of COVID-19 in Germany. In a first step, we establish a link between regional proxies of COVID-19 deniers and infection rates. We then estimate the causal impact of large anti-lockdown protests on the spread of COVID-19 using an event study framework. Employing novel data on bus stops of travel companies specialized in driving protesters to these gatherings, and exploiting the timing of two large-scale demonstrations in November 2020, we find sizable increases in infection rates in protesters' origin regions after these demonstrations. Individual-level evidence supports the main results by documenting that COVID-19 deniers engage less in health protection behavior. Our results contribute to the debate about the public health costs of individual behavior that has detrimental externalities for the society.

Keywords: COVID-19 deniers, protests, public health

JEL Classification: I18, I12, D62, P16

Suggested Citation

Lange, Martin and Monscheuer, Ole, Spreading the Disease: Protest in Times of Pandemics (2021). ZEW - Centre for European Economic Research Discussion Paper No. 21-009, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3787921 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3787921

Martin Lange (Contact Author)

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research ( email )

P.O. Box 10 34 43
L 7,1
D-68034 Mannheim, 68034
Germany

Ole Monscheuer

Humboldt University of Berlin ( email )

Spandauer Strasse 1
Berlin, 10178
Germany

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