The. states with short, or no lockdowns (i.e. South Dakota and Nebraska) experienced the smallest amount of economic damage.
To this point, the destruction caused by state and Federal Covid-19 lockdowns has largely been expressed in aggregates. Yet along the same line as a popular critique of Keynesianism, economic aggregates present a greatly truncated story by smoothing over minute but revealing evidence at lower levels. Looking at the policy impact on a smaller scale – regionally, and in terms of industries/sectors – exposes the impact of mandated shutdowns in greater detail.
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, widespread lockdown restrictions were imposed, ostensibly to keep hospitals from being overwhelmed and medical resources from being consumed to exhaustion. Whether policymakers purposely or out of ignorance disregarded them, the tradeoffs of stay-at-home orders were immediate and severe: a massive spike in unemployment, rivaling the Great Depression; similarly historic drops in GDP, and others. By looking at disaggregated data, though, the devastation of lockdowns becomes all the more apparent.
We examined the US economy in the period leading up to the Covid-19 policy implementations in two ways: regionally and in terms of industries.
For our analysis, U.S. geographic regions are broken into the following areas: New England, Mideast (Midatlantic), Great Lakes, Plains, Southeast, Southwest, Rocky Mountain, and the Far West. These were compared using data on GDP, imports, exports, business formations, and unemployment. Continue reading “”