Document Type



Kinesiology & Health Sciences

Journal Title

Health Policy and Planning

Pub Date

Spring 5-4-2021


Despite heterogeneity in income levels, countries implemented similarly strict containment and closure policies to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic. This research assesses the effectiveness of these containment and closure policies, which we defined as larger decreases in mobility and smaller COVID-19 case and death growth rates. Using daily data for 113 countries on mobility and cumulative COVID-19 case and death counts over the 130 days between February 15, 2020 and June 23, 2020, we examined changes in mobility, morbidity, and mortality growth rates across the World Bank’s income group classifications. Containment policies correlated with the largest declines in mobility in higher income countries. High-income countries also achieved lower COVID-19 case and death growth rates than low-income countries. This study finds better epidemiological outcomes of containment and closure policies for higher income countries than lower income countries. These findings urge policymakers to consider contextual differences, including levels of economic activity and the structure of the economy, when crafting policies in response to public health emergencies.