The Impact of the Coronavirus Lockdown on Mental Health: Evidence from the US

CINET Number: 2021

Adams-Prassl, A., Boneva, T., Golin, M. and Rauh, C.


The coronavirus outbreak has caused significant disruptions to people’s lives. We exploit variation in lockdown measures across states to document the impact of stay-at-home orders on mental health using real time survey data in the US. We find that the lockdown measures lowered mental health by 0.083 standard deviations. This large negative effect is entirely driven by women. As a result of the lockdown measures, the existing gender gap in mental health has increased by 61%. The negative effect on women’s mental health cannot be explained by an increase in financial worries or caring responsibilities.

Classification JEL