Policy Design for COVID-19: Worldwide Evidence on the Efficacies of Early Mask Mandates and Other Policy Interventions

Public Administration Review, Forthcoming

68 Pages Posted: 23 Mar 2021 Last revised: 7 Sep 2021

See all articles by Brian An

Brian An

Georgia Institute of Technology

Simon Porcher

IAE Paris - Sorbonne Business School

Shui Yan Tang

University of Southern California

Emily Eunji Kim

School of Public Policy

Date Written: August 18, 2021

Abstract

To understand the extent to which a policy instrument’s early adoption is crucial in crisis management, we leverage unique worldwide data that record the daily evolution of policy mandate adoptions and COVID-19 infection and mortality rates. The analysis shows that the mask mandate is consistently associated with lower infection rates in the short term, and its early adoption boosts the long-term efficacy. By contrast, the other five policy instruments—domestic lockdowns, international travel bans, mass gathering bans, and restaurant and school closures—show weaker efficacy. Governments prepared for a public health crisis with stronger resilience or capacity and those with stronger collectivist cultures were quicker to adopt nationwide mask mandates. From a policy design perspective, policymakers must avoid overreacting with less effective instruments and underreacting with more effective ones during uncertain times, especially when interventions differ in efficacy and cost.

Note: Funding Statement: There was no funding support provided to conduct the study.

Declaration of Interests: The authors declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this manuscript.

Keywords: Policy design; early policy interventions; COVID-19 pandemic; crisis management; government mandates; comparative research

JEL Classification: H11, H12, I18, I19, H51

Suggested Citation

An, Brian and Porcher, Simon and Tang, Shui Yan and Kim, Emily Eunji, Policy Design for COVID-19: Worldwide Evidence on the Efficacies of Early Mask Mandates and Other Policy Interventions (August 18, 2021). Public Administration Review, Forthcoming , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3804077 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3804077

Brian An (Contact Author)

Georgia Institute of Technology ( email )

685 Cherry St
Atlanta, GA 30332
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.brian-y-an.com

Simon Porcher

IAE Paris - Sorbonne Business School ( email )

IAE - Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne
8 bis rue croix de Jarry
Paris, 75013
France

Shui Yan Tang

University of Southern California ( email )

Los Angeles, CA 90089-0626
United States
2137400379 (Phone)

Emily Eunji Kim

School of Public Policy ( email )

Atlanta, GA 30332
United States

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