New article by Juranek and Zoutman
The article "The effect of non-pharmaceutical interventions on the demand for health care and on mortality: evidence from COVID-19 in Scandinavia" has been published in Journal of Population Economics.
Journal of Population Economics is on level 3 in the ABS Academic Journal Guide.
Juranek, Steffen, and Floris T. Zoutman: The effect of non-pharmaceutical interventions on the demand for health care and on mortality: evidence from COVID-19 in Scandinavia, Journal of Population Economics, 2021, 34, 1299-1320, Online 28.07.2021.
We study the effectiveness of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) against COVID-19 on the allocation of scarce resources in the hospital sector in Scandinavia. Denmark and Norway imposed strict NPIs, but Sweden followed an extraordinarily lenient approach. We use an event study to compare COVID-19 hospitalizations, intensive-care (ICU) patients, and deaths in Sweden with Denmark and Norway.
The outcome variables initially follow a common trend, but diverge 2–3 weeks after lockdown. Both the timing of the effect and the similarity in the trend between Denmark and Norway are highly consistent with a causal effect of the lockdown. We use our event study to build a counterfactual model that predicts the outcome variables for Denmark and Norway if they had followed Sweden’s approach.
In the absence of strict NPIs, the peak number of hospitalizations would have been 2.5 (3.5) times as large in Denmark (Norway). Overall, Denmark (Norway) would have had 334 (671) percent more hospital-patient days, 277 (379) percent more ICU-patient days, and 402 (1015) percent more deaths. The benefit of lockdown in terms of healthcare and mortality costs amounts to between 1 and 4 (0.9 and 3.5) percent of GDP in Denmark (Norway).