The Effect of Containment Measures on the COVID-19 Pandemic

Author/Editor:

Pragyan Deb ; Davide Furceri ; Jonathan David Ostry ; Nour Tawk

Publication Date:

August 7, 2020

Electronic Access:

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Disclaimer: IMF Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to encourage debate. The views expressed in IMF Working Papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management.

Summary:

Countries have implemented several containment measures to halt the spread of the 2019 coronavirus disease, but it remains unclear the extent to which these unprecedented measures have been successful. We examine this question using daily data on the number of coronavirus disease cases as well as on real-time containment measures implemented by countries. Results suggest that these measures have been very effective in flattening the “pandemic curve”, but there is significant heterogeneity across countries. Effectiveness is enhanced when measures are implemented quickly, where de facto mobility is curtailed, in countries with lower temperatures and population density, as well as in countries with a larger share of the elderly in total population and stronger health systems. We also find that easing of containment measures has resulted in an increase in the number of cases, but the effect has been lower (in absolute value) than that from a tightening of measures.

Series:

Working Paper No. 20/159

Frequency:

regular

English

Publication Date:

August 7, 2020

ISBN/ISSN:

9781513550268/1018-5941

Stock No:

WPIEA2020159

Format:

Paper

Pages:

42

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