Measuring the Effect of Pandemic Lockdowns on Economic Activity Within the St. Louis Metro Area
23 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2021
Date Written: May 5, 2021
This paper uses Opportunity Insights Economic Tracker data for four of the largest counties within the St. Louis MSA to better understand the effect of stay-at-home public health orders (a.k.a lockdowns) on local economic activity. A difference-in-differences analysis finds that small business openings and small business revenue (measured by Womply) declined by 8.5 and 15.8 percentage points respectively during two weeks of extended stay at home orders (May 4-18, 2020) in St. Louis County and St. Louis City County versus St. Charles County and Jefferson County. In contrast, consumer card spending, employment, and unemployment insurance initial claims were not significantly different during this time period. The effects on small business openings found for the St. Louis counties were larger than those identified by Chetty et al. (2020) of state-level reopenings across the U.S.
Keywords: pandemic, small business, public health, St. Louis
JEL Classification: I18, R11, E65
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation