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Eric Neumayer

Thomas Plümper

November 17th, 2020

In Germany, school holidays accounted for up to half of the increase in COVID infections over the summer

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Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Eric Neumayer

Thomas Plümper

November 17th, 2020

In Germany, school holidays accounted for up to half of the increase in COVID infections over the summer

0 comments | 1 shares

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

b) By share of foreigners

Figures 1a and 1b look fairly similar in that both become lighter as we move from left to right; Figure 1a in particular becomes lighter as we move from bottom to top of the figure. The conditioning effect of taxable income thus becomes more clearly visible in Figure 1a than the conditioning effect of the share of foreigners amongst residents in Figure 1b.

Conclusion

School summer holidays contributed substantially to the rise in infections in Germany, which is now facing a second wave of the pandemic. In this respect, the holiday effect reminds us of the very early stage of the pandemic in Germany, when ski holidays spread the virus to Germany and other countries in Europe. The school summer holiday effects were entirely predictable and yet public health authorities largely failed to mitigate the impact. While the federal or state governments could not have prohibited holiday-related travel given the low infection levels in early summer and the relatively minor role strict border controls played during the first wave, the summer holiday effect caught authorities strangely unprepared. It took authorities till the end of the summer holiday to drive up testing capacities for returning travellers and it took even longer to implement compulsory free tests for travellers returning from high-risk areas. Holiday-related travels are, of course, not the only reason why infections started to rise again over the summer. People grew increasingly tired of social distancing rules and started to revert back to their pre-pandemic social behaviour. Nevertheless, historians will look back at the summer of 2020 as the period when things started to go pear-shaped again in Germany and other European countries.

This post represents the views of the authors and not those of the COVID-19 blog, nor LSE. It first appeared at VOXEU.org, where a full set of references can be found.

About the author

Eric Neumayer

Eric Neumayer is Pro-Vice Chancellor, Planning and Resources and Professor of Environment and Development, LSE.

Thomas Plümper

Thomas Plümper is Professor of Quantitative Social Research at the Vienna University of Economics.

Posted In: #LSEThinks | Economics and finance | Health policy | Welfare and public policy trade-offs

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