Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/223646
Authors: 
Brodeur, Abel
Clark, Andrew E.
Flèche, Sarah
Powdthavee, Nattavudh
Year of Publication: 
2020
Series/Report no.: 
IZA Discussion Papers No. 13204
Abstract: 
The COVID-19 pandemic has led many governments to implement lockdowns. While lockdowns may help to contain the spread of the virus, they may result in substantial damage to population well-being. We use Google Trends data to test whether the lockdowns implemented in Europe and America led to changes in well-being related topic search terms. Using differences-in-differences and a regression discontinuity design to evaluate the causal effects of lockdown, we find a substantial increase in the search intensity for boredom in Europe and the US. We also found a significant increase in searches for loneliness, worry and sadness, while searches for stress, suicide and divorce on the contrary fell. Our results suggest that people's mental health may have been severely affected by the lockdown.
Subjects: 
boredom
COVID-19
loneliness
well-being
JEL: 
I12
I31
J22
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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