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Assessing Alternative Indicators for Covid-19 Policy Evaluation, with a Counterfactual for Sweden

Chiara Latour, Franco Peracchi () and Giancarlo Spagnolo
Additional contact information
Chiara Latour: University of Stockholm
Giancarlo Spagnolo: SITE-Stockholm School of Economics, University of Rome Tor Vergata, and EIEF

No 2107, EIEF Working Papers Series from Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF)

Abstract: We compare different indicators of the spread and consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, developing a novel method to adjust daily COVID-19 deaths to match weekly excess mortality. Focusing on Sweden, the only country that has good data and did not impose a lockdown, we construct counterfactuals for what would have happened if it had imposed a lockdown, using a synthetic control method. Correcting for data problems and optimizing the synthetic control for each indicator considered, we find stronger effects than previously estimated. Most importantly, studying the ratio of positives to the number of tests, we find that a lockdown would have had sizable effects already after one week. The 3–4 weeks delay highlighted in previous studies appears mainly driven by the large changes in testing frequency that occurred in Sweden during the period considered.

Pages: 18 pages
Date: 2021, Revised 2021-04
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Related works:
Journal Article: Assessing alternative indicators for Covid-19 policy evaluation, with a counterfactual for Sweden (2022) Downloads
Working Paper: Assessing Alternative Indicators for Covid-19 Policy Evaluation, with a Counterfactual for Sweden (2022) Downloads
Working Paper: Assessing Alternative Indicators for Covid-19 Policy Evaluation, with a Counterfactual for Sweden (2021) Downloads
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