A FINAL REPORT CARD ON THE STATES’ RESPONSE TO COVID-19; A FINAL REPORT CARD ON THE STATES’ RESPONSE TO COVID-19: Phil Kerpen, Stephen Moore, Casey B. Mulligan
by Paul Alexander
NBER WORKING PAPER SERIES The outcomes in NJ, NY, and CA were among the worst in all three categories: mortality, economy, and schooling. UT, NE, and VT were leaders in all three categories.
‘The outcomes in NJ, NY, and CA were among the worst in all three categories: mortality, economy, and schooling. UT, NE, and VT were leaders in all three categories.’
Utah, Nebraska, Vermont, Montana, South Dakota, Florida, New Hampshire, Maine, Arkansas and Idaho ranked in the top 10.
At the bottom were Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Nevada, Maryland, Illinois, California, New Mexico, New York, the District of Columbia and New Jersey.
“A working paper that examined how U.S. states responded to the COVID-19 pandemic found that states with strict lockdowns and other COVID-19 policies did little to prevent COVID-19 deaths, but those economic restrictions and school closures proved costly in other ways.
"School closures may ultimately prove to be the most costly policy decision of the pandemic era in both economic and mortality terms," University of Chicago economist Casey Mulligan and fellow authors Stephen Moore and Phil Kerpen of the Committee to Unleash Prosperity wrote in the paper. "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 [National Institutes of Health] analysis found that life expectancy for high school graduates is 4 to 6 years longer than high school dropouts," the authors wrote. "The [Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development] 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."
"Pandemic mortality was greater in states where obesity, diabetes, and old age were more prevalent before the pandemic. Economic activity was less in states that had been intensive in, especially, accommodations and food," the authors concluded. "Still, much residual variation in both mortality and economic activity remains even after controlling for these factors because the 50 states and DC took very different approaches to confronting the COVID-19 pandemic."