Neeraj Sood Discusses Shelter-in-Place Policies and Excess Mortality
Shelter-in-place policies were one of the most widely used policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many countries, and most US states, adopted such policies for at least some time. The policies varied in their stringency and duration. How did all-cause excess mortality evolve after these policies were adopted? In a new research paper (28930), NBER Research Associate Neeraj Sood of the University of Southern California (USC), Virat Agrawal of USC, and Jonathan H. Cantor and Christopher M. Whaley of the RAND Corporation compile data on mortality patterns before and after the implementation of the shelter-in-place policies. They find that despite the expectation that these policies would reduce mortality, in most places mortality increased modestly after their adoption. The researchers offer several potential explanations for this finding, including changes in the use of medical care for non-COVID-19 conditions, changes in the transmissibility or virulence of the COVID-19 virus after shelter-in-place policies took effect, and the effects of social isolation. Sood describes their findings in the video above. An archive of NBER videos on pandemic-related research may be found here.