Smart Containment: Lessons from Countries with Past Experience

Author/Editor:

Alexandra Fotiou ; Andresa Lagerborg

Publication Date:

April 23, 2021

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:

Following the Great Lockdown in 2020, it is important to take stock of lessons learned. How effective have different containment measures been in slowing the spread of Covid-19? Have containment measures been costly in terms of economic growth, fiscal balances, and accumulated debt? This paper finds that countries with previous SARS experience acted fast and "smart", and were able to contain the virus by relying mainly on public health measures ─ testing, contact tracing, and public information campaigns ─ rather than stay-at-home requirements. Using past coronavirus outbreaks as an instrumental variable, we show that countries with past experience were able to contain the virus in a smart way, reducing transmission and deaths while also experiencing higher economic growth in 2020.

Series:

Working Paper No. 2021/099

Frequency:

regular

English

Publication Date:

April 23, 2021

ISBN/ISSN:

9781513582474/1018-5941

Stock No:

WPIEA2021099

Pages:

54

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