Après-ski: The Spread of Coronavirus from Ischgl through Germany

Gabriel Felbermayr, Julian Hinz, Sonali Chowdhry

Publikation: Wissenschaftliche FachzeitschriftOriginalbeitrag in FachzeitschriftBegutachtung


The Austrian ski resort of Ischgl is commonly claimed to be ground
zero for the diffusion of the SARS-CoV-2 virus across Germany.
Drawing on data for 401 German counties, we find that conditional
on geographical latitude and testing behavior by health authorities,
road distance to Ischgl is indeed an important predictor of infection
cases, but — in line with expectations — not of fatality rates. Were
all German counties located as far from Ischgl as the most distant
county of Vorpommern-Rügen, Germany would have seen about 48%
fewer COVID-19 cases. A simple diffusion model predicts that the
absolute value of the distance-to-Ischgl elasticity should fall over time
when inter- and intra-county mobility are unrestricted. We test this
hypothesis and conclude that the German lockdown measures have
halted the spread of the virus.
Seiten (von - bis)177 - 204
FachzeitschriftCovid Economics
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2020