Comment on 'A Literature Review and Meta-Analysis of the Effects of Lockdowns on COVID-19 Mortality'
9 Pages Posted: 21 Mar 2022
Date Written: February 11, 2022
In a recent working paper, Herby et al. conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis of the effects of lockdowns on COVID-19 mortality. Based on their results, they conclude that "lockdowns have had little to no public health effects" and that "lockdowns should be rejected out of hand as a pandemic policy instrument" (p. 2). These strong conclusions have quickly been taken up by the public media. Here, we would like to comment on the paper by Herby et al., thereby raising concerns regarding the subject and conduct of their meta-analysis. Based on these concerns, we argue that their meta-analysis lacks methodological rigor and should thus not be considered as policy advice. In addition, we point towards more general issues regarding the conduct of meta-analyses on the effects of non-pharmaceutical interventions.
Note: Funding: None to declare.
Declaration of Interests: None to declare.
Keywords: lockdown, non-pharmaceutical interventions; COVID-19, literature review and meta-analysis, research comment
JEL Classification: I18
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation