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Lost in lockdown? the effect of social distancing and quarantine policies on depression and suicide in Germany

We exploit spatial and temporal variation in mitigation policies to assess how social-distancing and quarantine policies imposed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic in Germany affect anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation. Our empirical approach is twofold: First, we use Google Trends to quantify changes in related online-searches and thereby obtain an early assessment of the hypothesized effects. As official statistics on actual suicides become available, we will verify and compare our estimates by analyzing the excess number of suicides occurring in the year 2020 in a spatial RDD framework.

Lead investigator:

Valentin Klotzbucher


University of Freiburg

Primary topic:

Health, physical & mental

Region of data collection:


Country of data collection


Status of data collection


Type of data being collected:

Publicly available

Unit of real-time data collection