The Impact of COVID-19 Shelter-in-Place Policy Responses on Excess Mortality


As a way of slowing COVID-19 transmission, many countries and U.S. states implemented shelter-in-place (SIP) policies. However, the effects of SIP policies on public health are a priori ambiguous. Using an event study approach and data from 43 countries and all U.S. states, we measure changes in excess deaths following the implementation of COVID-19 shelter-in-place (SIP) policies. We do not find that countries or U.S. states that implemented SIP policies earlier had lower excess deaths. We do not observe differences in excess deaths before and after the implementation of SIP policies, even when accounting for pre-SIP COVID-19 death rates.

The full study can be viewed at Health Economics.

Agrawal, V., Cantor, J., Sood, N., & Whaley, C. (2023). The impact of COVID-19 shelter-in-place policy responses on excess mortality. Health Economics, 1– 17. 

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