More evidence that social distancing works

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Kapoor et al. (2020) uses rainfall on last weekend before the stay-at-home order as an instrument for social distancing. variables. They find that social distancing works and has persistent effects, especially early on:

We test whether earlier social distancing affects the progression of a local COVID-19 outbreak. We exploit county-level rainfall on the last weekend before statewide lockdown. After controlling for state fixed-effects, temperature, and historical rainfall, current rainfall is a plausibly exogenous instrument for social distancing. Early distancing causes a reduction in cases and deaths that persists for weeks. The effect is driven by a reduction in

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