by Stephen C. Miller
The American Institute for Economic Research
A new National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) working paper by Andrew Atkeson, Karen Kopecky, and Tao Zha focused on countries and U.S. states with more than 1,000 COVID deaths as of late July. In all, the study included 25 U.S. states and 23 countries.
Based on their analysis, the authors present four “Stylized Facts” about COVID-19, which are:
1. Once a region reaches 25 total COVID deaths, within a month the growth rate in deaths per day falls to approximately zero. In other words, no matter the country or state and its policies, deaths per day stop increasing within 20-30 days of passing a threshold of 25 deaths.
2. Once that happens, deaths per day either begin to fall or the trend remains flat.
3. The variability in death trends across regions has fallen sharply since the beginning of the epidemic and remains low. All states studied, all countries studied, have become more similar in their trends and have remained so.