Italy has been one of the most severely affected countries in the world by the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, both in terms of contagions and mortality. Nevertheless, the diffusion of the pandemic and the mortality rate have been quite uneven among Italian provinces, despite a rather intense flow of movements of the population among different geographical areas before the full lockdown decision implemented on March 11th 2020.
This paper aims to single out some of the causes of the geographical heterogeneity in the contagion and mortality rates by focusing, in particular, on human capital, intergenerational interaction within families, population mobility after the lockdown decision, and the characteristics of healthcare systems at the local level. By using panel regression techniques, we found that population mobility, continued even after the lockdown decision, has had uneven effects on contagion, while human capital externalities and the strength of the public healthcare system at the local level have been important factors in reducing Covid-19 mortality. The high vertical social integration in Italian families do not seems to increase contagion rates.
Keywords: Covid-19; Human capital; Mobility; Family Structure; Healthcare Systems.