The Virus, Vaccination, and Voting
Vaccination rates have a statistically significant downward effect on the Covid-19 death rate across US counties, as of August 12, 2021. Controlling for poverty rates, age, and temperature lowers the magnitude of the estimate a little. Using the Biden-Trump vote in the 2020 election as an instrument for vaccination rates raises the magnitude of the estimate. Presumably it corrects for a positive effect of observed local Covid deaths on the decision to get vaccinated. Overall, the estimated beneficial effect holds up and has risen over time.
Frankel's general financial disclosure is available on his webpage (under links). The authors have nothing to disclose relevant to this paper. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.