SPP professor Kahanec publishes a paper on the effectiveness of mass antigen testing for COVID19 in the Journal of Population Economics
SPP professor and acting dean Martin Kahanec publishes a co-authored paper with Lukáš Lafférs and Bernhard Schmidpeter about the effectiveness of mass antigen testing for COVID19 on the pandemic in the Journal of Population Economics.
Kahanec, M., Lafférs, L. & Schmidpeter, B. The impact of repeated mass antigen testing for COVID-19 on the prevalence of the disease. J Popul Econ (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00148-021-00856-z
In the absence of effective vaccination, mass testing and quarantining of positive cases and their contacts could help to mitigate pandemics and allow economies to stay open. We investigate the effects of repeated mass testing on the COVID-19 pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, using data from the first-ever nationwide rapid antigen testing implemented in Slovakia in autumn 2020. After the first round of testing, only districts above an ex-ante unknown threshold of test positivity were re-tested. Comparing districts above and below the threshold, we provide evidence that repeated mass antigen testing can temporarily reduce the number of new infections. Our results suggest that mass testing coupled with the quarantining of positive cases and their contacts could be an effective tool in mitigating pandemics. For lasting effects, re-testing at regular intervals would likely be necessary.