The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) just released an interesting study on Covid-19 handling. Let's take a look.
State pandemic performance by the NBER, # annotations by Mish
Please consider the Final Report Card on Response to Covid-19 by the NBER.
The study analyzed the economy, education, and mortality.
For economic performance the NBER used two measures: unemployment and GDP by state.
For education, the NBER used a single metric: the Burbio cumulative in-person instruction percentage for the complete 2020-2021 school year, with hybrid instruction weighted half.
For mortality the NBER used two measures: COVID-associated deaths reported to the CDC and all-cause excess mortality.
The outcomes in NJ, NY, and CA were among the worst in all three categories: morality, economy, and schooling.
UT, NE, and VT were leaders in all three categories.
The scores have a clear spatial pattern, perhaps reflecting spatial correlations in demographic, economic, and political variables.
IL, NM, CO, and CA are outliers among their geographic neighbors in the direction of low combined scores.
FL, AR, WV, and UT are outliers in the other direction.
State pandemic performance by the NBER via Burbio
School closures may ultimately prove to be the most costly policy decision of the pandemic era in both economic and mortality terms. One study found that school closures at the end of the previous 2019-2020 school year are associated with 13.8 million years of life lost.
An NIH analysis found that life expectancy for high school graduates is 4 to 6 years longer than high school dropouts.
The OECD estimates that learning losses from pandemic era school closures could cause a 3% decline in lifetime earnings, and that a loss of just one third of a year of learning has a long-term economic impact of $14 trillion.
Unlike mortality or economic outcomes, closing public schools was entirely under the control of policymakers. Almost all private schools were open.
The worst five states in order were Washington, Maryland, Oregon, California, and DC (last).
The best states in order were Wyoming (best), Arkansas, Florida, South Dakota, and Utah.
For all the pissing and moaning about Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, not only was Florida #3 in keeping schools open, Florida was #6 overall.
Utah (#1), Vermont, Montana, South Dakota, Florida, New Hampshire, Maine, Arkansas.
Illinois (#46), California (#47) New Mexico (#48)
New York (#49), DC (#50), New Jersey (#51)
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