Did Lockdown Work? An Economist’s Cross-Country Comparison

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Christian Bjørnskov* Aarhus University and the Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Stockholm

Abstract: I explore the association between the severity of lockdown policies in the first half of 2020 and mortality rates. Using two indices from the Blavatnik Centre’s Covid 19 policy measures and comparing weekly mortality rates from 24 European countries in the first halves of 2017-2020, and addressing policy endogeneity in two different ways, I find no clear association between lockdown policies and mortality development. Keywords: epidemic, Covid 19, policy responses