Alliance for Pandemic Preparedness

April 9, 2021

The Lockdown Effect: A Counterfactual for Sweden



Keywords (Tags):

  • A modeling study simulated the potential effects of a stricter, government-imposed lockdown policy in Sweden, a country that did not impose such a lockdown in early 2020. The authors compared COVID-related deaths, SARS-CoV-2 infections, and change in national GDP in Sweden from March 15-May 17, 2020 to a weighted average of similar neighboring countries that did impose lockdowns. The model estimated that if Sweden had imposed a 9-week lockdown in March 2020, infections would have been reduced by 75% and deaths would have been reduced by 38% with only moderate decreases in national GDP. Notably, the authors reported that although social mobility in Sweden decreased substantially in the absence of government-imposed lockdown, the decrease was less than what would have been expected to have occurred in a mandated lockdown.

Born et al. (Apr 8, 2021). The Lockdown Effect: A Counterfactual for Sweden. PLOS ONE.