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The impact of a COVID-19 lockdown on work productivity under good and poor compliance

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Title: The impact of a COVID-19 lockdown on work productivity under good and poor compliance
Authors: Ohrnberger, J
Segal, A
Forchini, G
Miraldo, M
Skarp, J
Nedjati-Gilani, G
Laydon, D
Ghani, A
Ferguson, N
Hauck, K
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Background In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, governments across the globe have imposed strict social distancing measures. Public compliance to such measures is essential for their success yet the economic consequences of compliance are unknown. This is the first study to analyse the effects of good compliance compared to poor compliance to a COVID-19 suppression strategy (i.e. lockdown) on work productivity. Methods We estimate the differences in work productivity comparing a scenario of good compliance with one of poor compliance to the UK government COVID-19 suppression strategy. We use projections of the impact of the UK suppression strategy on mortality and morbidity from an individual-based epidemiological model combined with an economic model representative of the labour force in Wales and England. Results We find that productivity effects of good compliance significantly exceed those of poor compliance and increase with the duration of the lockdown. After three months of the lockdown, work productivity in good compliance is £398.58 million higher compared with that of poor compliance. 75% of the differences is explained by productivity effects due to morbidity and non-health reasons and 25% attributed to avoided losses due to pre-mature mortality. Conclusion Good compliance to social distancing measures exceeds positive economic effects, in addition to health benefits. This is an important finding for current economic and health policy. It highlights the importance to set clear guidelines for the public, to build trust and support for the rules and if necessary, to enforce good compliance to social distancing measures.
Issue Date: 6-Aug-2021
Date of Acceptance: 26-Jul-2021
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/90844
DOI: 10.1093/eurpub/ckab138
ISSN: 1101-1262
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Start Page: 1009
End Page: 1015
Journal / Book Title: European Journal of Public Health
Volume: 31
Issue: 5
Copyright Statement: © The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Public Health Association. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Sponsor/Funder: Medical Research Council (MRC)
Medical Research Council (MRC)
National Institute for Health Research
Abdul Latif Jameel Foundation
Funder's Grant Number: MR/T025409/1
Keywords: COVID-19
Communicable Disease Control
Public Health
1117 Public Health and Health Services
Publication Status: Published
Online Publication Date: 2021-08-06
Appears in Collections:Imperial College Business School
Department of Infectious Diseases
Faculty of Medicine
Imperial College London COVID-19
School of Public Health

This item is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons