Closed for business: The mortality impact of business closures during the Covid-19 pandemic

Dion Bongaerts, Francesco Mazzola*, Wolf Wagner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We investigate the effectiveness of business shutdowns to contain the Covid-19 disease. In March 2020, Italy shut down operations in selected sectors of its economy. Using a difference- in-differences approach, we find that municipalities with higher exposure to closed sectors experienced subsequently lower mortality rates. The implied life savings exceed 9,400 people over a period of less than a month. We also find that business closures exhibited rapidly diminishing returns and had large effects outside the closed businesses themselves, including spillovers to other municipalities. Overall, the results suggest business shutdowns are effective, but should be selectively implemented and centrally coordinated.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0251373
Pages (from-to)e0251373
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume16
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2021

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