The public debate on the effectiveness of lockdown measures is far from being settled. We estimate the impact of not having implemented a strict lockdown in the Bergamo province, during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, despite observing an infection rate in this area similar to the one observed in nearby municipalities where a strict lockdown was instead promptly implemented. We estimate the causal effect of this policy decision on daily excess mortality using the synthetic control method (SCM). We find that about two-thirds of the reported deaths could have been avoided had the Italian government declared a Red Zone in the Bergamo province. We also clarify that, in this context, SCM and difference-in-differences implicitly restrict effect heterogeneity. We provide a way to empirically assess the credibility of this assumption in our setting.

The gray zone: How not imposing a strict lockdown at the beginning of a pandemic can cost many lives / Crudu, Federico; Di Stefano, Roberta; Mellace, Giovanni; Tiezzi, Silvia. - In: LABOUR ECONOMICS. - ISSN 0927-5371. - (2024). [10.1016/j.labeco.2024.102580]

The gray zone: How not imposing a strict lockdown at the beginning of a pandemic can cost many lives

Di Stefano, Roberta;
2024

Abstract

The public debate on the effectiveness of lockdown measures is far from being settled. We estimate the impact of not having implemented a strict lockdown in the Bergamo province, during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, despite observing an infection rate in this area similar to the one observed in nearby municipalities where a strict lockdown was instead promptly implemented. We estimate the causal effect of this policy decision on daily excess mortality using the synthetic control method (SCM). We find that about two-thirds of the reported deaths could have been avoided had the Italian government declared a Red Zone in the Bergamo province. We also clarify that, in this context, SCM and difference-in-differences implicitly restrict effect heterogeneity. We provide a way to empirically assess the credibility of this assumption in our setting.
2024
COVID-19; Causal impact; Synthetic control method; Red zone; Bergamo; Non-pharmaceutical interventions
01 Pubblicazione su rivista::01a Articolo in rivista
The gray zone: How not imposing a strict lockdown at the beginning of a pandemic can cost many lives / Crudu, Federico; Di Stefano, Roberta; Mellace, Giovanni; Tiezzi, Silvia. - In: LABOUR ECONOMICS. - ISSN 0927-5371. - (2024). [10.1016/j.labeco.2024.102580]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1711514
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