We estimate the economic impact of South Korea’s targeted responses to the large-scale COVID-19 clusters in a highly concentrated business area (Guro) and a highly concentrated entertainment area (Itaewon) in Seoul, respectively. We find that foot traffic and retail sales decreased only within a 300-meter radius of the cluster and recovered to their pre-outbreak level after four weeks in the case of the Guro cluster. The reductions appear to be driven by temporary business closures rather than by the risk avoidance behavior of the citizens. However, the adverse economic impacts measured by foot traffic and retail sales of another outbreak of the COVID-19 cluster in Itaewon were persistent. Our results imply that the effects of less intense but more targeted COVID-19 interventions, such as pinpointed, temporary closures of businesses, can differ by underlying geographical characteristics.

Fuente: Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization
Available online 18 October 2021