Olivier Bargain, Ulugbek Aminjonov, 23 October 2020

As a second wave of COVID-19 threatens the health of communities across the globe, governments are considering another round of lockdowns. But the success of those policies will depend largely on the levels of compliance, which will in turn depend on the confidence that citizens have in their leaders. This column summarises the results of recent studies examining the effect of civic trust during the first wave of the pandemic. The evidence points to a higher rate of compliance with stay-at-home policies in regions with a higher level of long-term trust in politicians.

Chen Chen, Sudipto Dasgupta, Thanh Huynh, Ying Xia, 08 July 2020

Stay-at-home orders, when effective, can save both lives and the economy. Even though the short-term economic impact is very significant, not getting the pandemic under control can impose even higher economic costs in the future. This column studies the market reactions following staggered lockdown events across US states during Covid-19. It finds that returns on firms located in lockdown states are higher following the lockdown. These reactions can be interpreted as reflecting updated beliefs of market participants in the light of events that follow the lockdowns, such as compliance with stay-at-home orders.

Sam Engle, John Stromme, Anson Zhou, 12 May 2020

Lockdown policies are used to ‘flatten the curve’, but their success rate remains uncertain. This column uses GPS data from mobile phones in the US to show that stay-at-home orders do reduce mobility. However, voluntary reductions are also important, regardless of stay-at-home orders. Counties with a higher share of older people or a lower share of Republican votes are more responsive to lockdown measures. Further, counties with a larger share of jobs that are ‘teleworkable’, a higher median income, or a lower use of public transit are also more responsive, suggesting that multiple factors must be considered.  


CEPR Policy Research