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This study uses a step-wise regression model to identify the socioeconomic variables most significant in explaining COVID-19 death rates on a state-level basis. The regression tests cover the 1/1/2020 to 12/1/2020 period as well as the first and second halves of 2020. This study also uses the Oxford stringency index to measure more precisely the efficacy of governmental mandates at the state level. The results in this study rigorously showed that while the density variables were the most significant explanatory variables during the first half of the year, their significance fell during the second half. Use of the Oxford stringency index revealed that more stringent mandates led to significant reductions in COVID-19 death rates, especially during the second half of the year. The study’s findings also reveal that a higher poverty rate in a state is significantly associated with higher COVID-19 death rates during all three periods tested.


This article was originally published in Journal of Bioeconomics in 2021.

This scholarship is part of the Chapman University COVID-19 Archives.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



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