Is Large-Scale Rapid Cov-2 Testing a Substitute for Lockdowns? The Case of Tuebingen

42 Pages Posted: 15 May 2021

See all articles by Marc Diederichs

Marc Diederichs

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz

Peter Kremsner

University of Tübingen

Timo Mitze

University of Southern Denmark

Gernot J. Müller

University of Tuebingen - Department of Economics

Dominik Papies

University of Tuebingen - Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences

Felix Schulz

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz

Klaus Wälde

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz - Gutenberg School of Economics and Management

Abstract

Various forms of contact restriction have been adopted in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Only recently, rapid testing appeared as a new policy instrument. If sufficiently effective, it may serve as a substitute for contact restrictions. Against this background we evaluate the effects of a unique policy experiment: on March 16, the city of Tuebingen set up a rapid testing scheme while relaxing lockdown measures-in sharp contrast to its German peers. Comparing case rates in Tuebingen county to an appropriately defined control unit over a four-week period, we find an increase in the reported case rate, robustly across alternative specifications. However, the increase is temporary and about one half of it reflects cases that would have gone undetected in the absence of extra testing.

JEL Classification: I18, C23

Suggested Citation

Diederichs, Marc and Kremsner, Peter and Mitze, Timo and Müller, Gernot J. and Papies, Dominik and Schulz, Felix and Wälde, Klaus, Is Large-Scale Rapid Cov-2 Testing a Substitute for Lockdowns? The Case of Tuebingen. IZA Discussion Paper No. 14334, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3846679

Marc Diederichs (Contact Author)

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz ( email )

Saarstr. 21
Jakob Welder-Weg 4
Mainz, 55122
Germany

Peter Kremsner

University of Tübingen

Germany

Timo Mitze

University of Southern Denmark ( email )

Campusvej 55
DK-5230 Odense, 5000
Denmark

Gernot J. Müller

University of Tuebingen - Department of Economics ( email )

Mohlstrasse 36
D-72074 Tuebingen, 72074
Germany

Dominik Papies

University of Tuebingen - Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences ( email )

Mohlstrasse 36
Tuebingen, Baden-Wuerttemberg 72074
Germany

Felix Schulz

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz ( email )

Saarstr. 21
Jakob Welder-Weg 4
Mainz, 55122
Germany

Klaus Wälde

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz - Gutenberg School of Economics and Management ( email )

Mainz
Germany

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