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Are COVID-19 Containment Measures Equally Effective in Different World Regions?

Alessandro Carraro, Lucia Ferrone () and Margherita Squarcina

Working Papers - Economics from Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa

Abstract: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, countries around the world are implementing a range of non-pharmaceutical interventions, such associal distancing, travel-related and contact tracing measures, with the goal of reducing the spread of the virus.Many low-income countries (LICs) have started applying these measures preventively, well before the point of contagion reached by high income countries (HICs). These measures will have and are already having a strong impact on the global and local economy. Understanding if and to what extent they are effective in halting the spread the virus is crucial to design and target policies, not only in the ongoing crisis, but also and perhaps more importantly, to face future challenges. Using data provided by the OxfordCOVID-19 Government Response Trackerwe analyze how different policies affect the number of active COVID-19 cases in 166 countries, with a temporal lag of seven and fourteen days. We divide countries according to different geographic and socio-economic characteristics. We find that confinement measures such as school closures and lockdowns are highly effective in reducing the diffusion of active cases. While they are more effective in HICs, these measures are proving effective also in LICs: the rapid response of many LICs seems to have been the right choice. When evaluating the cost of adopting strong measures in LICs we should consider that they may have likely prevented much higher human and economics costs in the future. At the same time, further consideration should be given in how to best adapt the measures to the specificity of the context.

Keywords: COVID19; mitigation measures; policy analysis (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C1 C5 I1 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 31 pages
Date: 2020
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