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Name File Type Size Last Modified
KY_COVID19.dta application/x-stata-dta 100.8 MB 05/13/2021 09:11:AM
Stata generated codebook.txt text/plain 154.4 KB 05/13/2021 08:59:AM

Project Citation: 

Courtemanche, Charles, Yelowitz, Aaron, Pinkston, Joshua, Le, Anh, and Garuccio, Joseph. Chance Elections, Social Distancing Restrictions, and Kentucky’s Early COVID-19 Experience. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2021-05-13.

Project Description

Summary:  View help for Summary This study estimates an event-study model to link adoption of several common social distancing measures – public school closures, bans on large gatherings, closures of entertainment-related businesses such as restaurants, and shelter-in-place orders (SIPOs) – to the growth rate of cases across counties in the Midwest and South in the early stages of the pandemic. These policies combined to slow the daily growth rate of COVID-19 cases by 9 percentage points after 16 days, with SIPOs and entertainment establishment closures accounting for the entire effect.

In order to obtain results with more direct applicability to Kentucky, we then estimate a model that interacts the policy variables with a “white working class” index characterized by political conservatism, rurality, and high percentages of white, evangelical Christian residents without college degrees. We find that the effectiveness of early social distancing measures decreased with higher values of this index. The results imply that the restrictions combined to slow the spread of COVID-19 by 12 percentage points per day in Kentucky’s two largest urban counties but had no statistically detectable effect across the rest of the state.

Scope of Project

Subject Terms:  View help for Subject Terms COVID-19; Kentucky; social distance
Geographic Coverage:  View help for Geographic Coverage Kentucky, Midwest and Southern US
Time Period(s):  View help for Time Period(s) 3/5/2020 – 4/25/2020 (March 5th to April 25th 2020)


Data Source:  View help for Data Source Data sources

Cases, deaths, and initial intervention data: Johns Hopkins University University 

Election data: MIT Election Data and Science Lab and the Harvard Dataverse

Evangelical data: 
U.S. Religion Census Religious Congregations and Membership Study, 2010

County population data: 
United States Department of Agriculture

Other county level data: Killeen et al. (Johns Hopkins University).

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