THE IMPACT OF RAPID STATE POLICY RESPONSE ON CUMULATIVE DEATHS CAUSED BY COVID-19
by Takuto Nakamura
Abstract – Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic the majority of US states enacted a statewide stay-at-home order. This paper makes use of state-level heterogeneity in policy responses to conduct a cross-sectional regression analysis of lock-down response on Covid-19 deaths. The results of this paper suggest that states which imposed stay-at-home orders more quickly after reaching a threshold proportion of deaths had significantly fewer deaths 3 weeks after lock-down. We use of a robust set of control variables in order to minimise bias arising from confounding factors. Results show that the predicted increase in the cumulative deaths after 21 days of lockdown for the average state associated with delaying implementation of policy by 1 week is approximately 46%. The result shows that speed is a crucial factor that state governors should consider when enacting a stay-at-home policy.