Texas Reopening Barely Budged Either Economy or Virus Caseloads

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The end of Texas’s mask mandate and business-capacity restrictions in March had no impact on economic activity or coronavirus case counts, according to a new study.

The health-policy reseachers’ finding suggested that behavior is influenced more by personal risk calculations than by laws aimed at containing the virus, especially a year into the pandemic and amid widespread vaccinations.

Republican Governor Greg Abbott issued an order effective March 10 that eliminated the pandemic rules. He and others argued that the easing would allow people to return to jobs in a state that represents about 8% of the U.S. economy, while opponents worried it would spur virus cases.

Neither scenario played out, according to the findings of a new working paper from Dhaval Dave, economics professor at Bentley…

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