Poverty and Economic Dislocation Reduce Compliance with COVID-19 Shelter-in-Place Protocols

Produced by: 
University of Chicago
Available from: 
May 2020
Paper author(s): 
Austin L. Wright
Konstantin Sonin
Jesse Driscoll
Jarnickae Wilson
Topic: 
Poverty - Inequality - Aid Effectiveness
Year: 
2020

Shelter-in-place policies reduce social contact and mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Inconsistent compliance with social distancing creates local and regional interpersonal transmission risks. Using county-day measures on population movement derived from cellphone location data, we investigate whether compliance with local shelter-in-place ordinances varies across US counties with different economic endowments. Our theoretical model implies economic endowments will influence compliance with social distancing. We find evidence that low income areas do comply less than counties with stronger economic endowments. Findings suggest targeted economic relief could improve future compliance with public health interventions.

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Research section: 
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