Wednesday 15 February 2023

Large gatherings and Covid

I do love a good natural experiment. And this is a neat one
Social distancing is important to slow the community spread of infectious disease, but it creates enormous economic and social cost. Thus, it is important to quantify the benefits of different measures. We study the ban of mass gatherings, an intervention with comparably low cost. We exploit exogenous variation in the number of National Basketball Association and National Hockey League games, which arises due to the leagues' predetermined schedules, and the sudden suspension of the 2019–2020 seasons. We find that, among clusters of counties that are adjacent to sports venues, each additional mass gathering increased the cumulative number of COVID-19 deaths by 10.3%.

Some places had games scheduled between 1 March and 11 March, other places didn't. Play was suspended 12 March. So they compare places that happened to have scheduled games in early March with places that didn't. 

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