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Mask mandates increase consumer spending, study says

Close-up of woman in surgical mask and of I voted sticker
Posted at 9:05 AM, Nov 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-12 11:05:38-05

PHOENIX — While contentious debate about mask mandates as a method to curb the spread of Covid-19 continues, the mandates appear to be good for the economy, according to a new Washington University study.

The study, conducted by researchers at Washington U's Olin Business School, shows that consumer spending increased by 5% on average in communities where masks were mandated. The impact was greatest among so-called nonessential businesses, such as retail, restaurants and bars, that were heavily affected by the pandemic, researchers said.

“The findings exceeded our expectations and show that we can have a strong economy with strong, commonsense public-health measures," Raphael Thomadsen, Olin professor of marketing and a co-author of the study, said in a statement. "Mask mandates are a win-win."

Read the full story at Phoenix Business Journal.