Journal Article

Lockdown Responses to COVID-19

Abstract: This article describes the relationship between countries' lockdown responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and those countries' political rights and civil liberties, macroeconomic variables, and vulnerability to the virus. Political rights and civil liberties cannot explain the differences in lockdown timing across countries. Countries with high contagion exposure due to weak water sanitation and weak health systems locked down their economies as fast as possible to reduce contagion. However, countries more vulnerable to COVID-19 due to large fractions of elderly and smokers in the population did not respond differently from less-vulnerable countries. Interestingly, macroeconomic variables that did affect the timing of lockdowns were the sizes of a country's financial and trading sectors, even when differences in income and population density are taken into account.

Keywords: COVID-19;

JEL Classification: C10; H4; I18;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Part of Series: Review

Publication Date: 2021-04-15

Volume: 103

Issue: 2

Pages: 127-151