A Data-Driven Analysis of the Economic Cost of Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions: A Cross-Country Comparison of Kenya, Singapore, and Thailand

Briones J, Wang Y, Prawjaeng J, Wee HL, Kairu A, Orangi S, Barasa E, Teerawattananon Y
Int J Public Health. 2022;67

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Objective: To estimate the economic impact of border closure and social distancing by estimating the decline of gross domestic product (GDP) in Kenya, Singapore and Thailand. Methods: We analysed secondary data retrospectively. To calculate impact of NPIs on GDP, the relationship between GDP and stock market index was examined using ordinary least squares (OLS). Then, autoregressive and moving averages (ARMA) model was used to examine the impact of NPI on stock market index. The change in GDP due to NPIs was derived by multiplying coefficients of OLS and ARMA models. Results: An increase in stock market index correlated with an increase in GDP, while both social distancing and border closure negatively correlated with stock market index. Implementation of NPIs correlated with the decline in GDP. Thai border closure had a greater decline in GDP than social distancing; Kenya exhibited the same trends; Singapore had the opposite trend. Conclusion: We quantified the magnitude of economic impact of NPIs in terms of GDP decline by linking stock market index and GDP. This approach may be applicable in other settings.