What if Sweden had imposed a COVID lockdown?

The researchers' analysis was completed late last Fall, so the study period ran from March 2020 through Sept. 1, 2020. They found that if Sweden had imposed a lockdown in Spring 2020, similar to other European countries, infections would have been cut by 75% and deaths would have been reduced by 38%. At the same time, GDP growth would have fallen by an extra 1.64% and 0.71% in the first and second quarters of 2020. "Our analysis suggests that the economic costs of a lockdown in Sweden would have been moderate, consistent with the finding that the Swedish labor market performed only slightly better than that of its neighbors," they wrote, noting that voluntary distancing in the country and economic lockdowns in surrounding countries severely hampered the Swedish economy in reality, despite not having a lockdown. The authors' study suggests that Sweden's laissez-faire approach to the pandemic resulted in additional infection and death with little economic benefit. Although they noted that there were numerous other factors they did not consider.