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Abstract

Public response to rising deaths from COVID-19 was immediate and, in many cases, drastic, leading to substantial economic and institutional costs. In this paper, I focus on mortality from COVID-19. Using crosscountry evidence and controlling for a variety of contributing factors, I find that increasing the number of hospital beds has a significant and quite substantial impact on mortality rates. Hospital beds likely capture the capacity of ICU, laboratories, and other hospital-related equipment. Facing a potential second or third wave of infection following an exit from lockdown policies, countries short on medical infrastructures should increase them immediately.

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