Findings from the first wave of Covid-19 on the different impacts of lockdown on public health and economic growth


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Kargı B., Coccia M., Uçkaç B. C.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC SCIENCES, vol.12, no.2, pp.21-39, 2023 (ESCI)

Abstract

This paper examines the impact of different durations of national lockdown measures during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic on the public health and economic conditions of nations. Results indicate that a) countries with shorter lockdown periods, approximately 15 days, experience a higher variation of confirmed cases/population (%) compared to countries with longer lockdowns, lasting for over one month; b) countries with shorter lockdown periods experience lower average fatality rates compared to countries with longer lockdown periods, while the variation in fatality rates indicates that countries with longer periods of lockdown achieved a more substantial reduction in fatality rates. Nevertheless, the findings of the study indicate that while longer durations of national lockdowns, implemented as a government response to the COVID-19 pandemic, appear to produce somewhat uncertain outcomes in terms of public health, they exhibit a more substantial adverse effect on a country’s economic growth, resulting in a contraction in gross domestic product growth. Extracting key lessons from this study can prove invaluable in crafting effective public responses for future COVID-19 waves and epidemics that resemble the characteristics of COVID-19.