Scholars have started to estimate the effects of non-pharmaceutical interventions to reduce the health impact of COVID-19. However, the empirical evidence is highly contested, and since it is not known exactly what would have happened without those measures, political élites are left free to give credit to the voices that they prefer the most. We argue that any sensible assessment of the effectiveness of anti-COVID policies requires methodological reflection on what is actually comparable, and how to approximate the ideal “method of difference” theorized by John Stuart Mill. By evaluating the effectiveness of school closures as an anti-COVID policy, we provide two examples in which appropriate counterfactuals are inductively discovered rather than selected a priori. In the first one, we use Coarsened Exact Matching (CEM) in a cross-country setting, while in the second one, we implement the Synthetic Control Method in a within-country analysis. The article highlights the methodological advantages of including these techniques in the toolbox of policy scholars, while both examples confirm the effectiveness of school closures.

COVID-19 counterfactual evidence. Estimating the effects of school closures / M. Giuliani. - In: POLICY STUDIES. - ISSN 1470-1006. - 44:1 Thematic issue: Policy transfer during the COVID era(2023), pp. 112-131. (Intervento presentato al convegno Annual conference of the Italian Political Science Association (Società italiana di Scienza politica. SISP) tenutosi a [online] nel 2021) [10.1080/01442872.2022.2103527].

COVID-19 counterfactual evidence. Estimating the effects of school closures

M. Giuliani
2023

Abstract

Scholars have started to estimate the effects of non-pharmaceutical interventions to reduce the health impact of COVID-19. However, the empirical evidence is highly contested, and since it is not known exactly what would have happened without those measures, political élites are left free to give credit to the voices that they prefer the most. We argue that any sensible assessment of the effectiveness of anti-COVID policies requires methodological reflection on what is actually comparable, and how to approximate the ideal “method of difference” theorized by John Stuart Mill. By evaluating the effectiveness of school closures as an anti-COVID policy, we provide two examples in which appropriate counterfactuals are inductively discovered rather than selected a priori. In the first one, we use Coarsened Exact Matching (CEM) in a cross-country setting, while in the second one, we implement the Synthetic Control Method in a within-country analysis. The article highlights the methodological advantages of including these techniques in the toolbox of policy scholars, while both examples confirm the effectiveness of school closures.
Evaluation; Comparative analysis; Counterfactual; Covid-19; School closures
Settore SPS/04 - Scienza Politica
   Piano di Sostegno alla Ricerca 2015-2017 - Linea 2 "Dotazione annuale per attività istituzionali" (anno 2020)
   UNIVERSITA' DEGLI STUDI DI MILANO
2023
21-lug-2022
Società Italiana di Scienza Politica
Article (author)
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
Main Document Authour preprint.pdf

accesso aperto

Descrizione: Pre-print
Tipologia: Pre-print (manoscritto inviato all'editore)
Dimensione 808.25 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
808.25 kB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri
Post-print.pdf

Open Access dal 22/12/2023

Descrizione: Post-print
Tipologia: Post-print, accepted manuscript ecc. (versione accettata dall'editore)
Dimensione 429.25 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
429.25 kB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri
Online Appendix.pdf

accesso aperto

Descrizione: Online Appendix
Tipologia: Altro
Dimensione 530.97 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
530.97 kB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri
Pubblicazioni consigliate

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/934967
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 3
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 3
social impact