The Effect of Vaccine Mandates on Disease Spread: Evidence from College COVID-19 Mandates
Riley Acton (),
Emily Cook (),
Scott Imberman () and
Michael Lovenheim ()
No 30303, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc
Since the spring of 2021, nearly 700 colleges and universities in the U.S. have mandated that their students become vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. We leverage rich data on colleges’ vaccination policies and semester start dates, along with a variety of county-level public health outcomes, to provide the first estimates of the effects of these mandates on the communities surrounding four-year, residential colleges. In event study specifications, we find that, over the first 13 weeks of the fall 2021 semester, college vaccine mandates reduced new COVID-19 cases by 339 per 100,000 county residents and new deaths by 5.4 per 100,000 residents, with an estimated value of lives saved between $9.7 million and $27.4 million per 100,000 residents. These figures suggest that the mandates reduced total US COVID-19 deaths in autumn 2021 by approximately 5%.
JEL-codes: H75 I18 I23 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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