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JUE Insight: How much does COVID-19 increase with mobility? Evidence from New York and four other U.S. cities

Edward L. Glaeser, Caitlin Gorback and Stephen Redding

Journal of Urban Economics, 2022, vol. 127, issue C

Abstract: How effective are restrictions on mobility in limiting COVID-19 spread? Using zip code data across five U.S. cities, we estimate that total cases per capita decrease by 19% for every ten percentage point fall in mobility. Addressing endogeneity concerns, we instrument for travel by residential teleworkable and essential shares and find a 25% decline in cases per capita. Using panel data for NYC with week and zip code fixed effects, we estimate a decline of 30%. We find substantial spatial and temporal heterogeneity; east coast cities have stronger effects, with the largest for NYC in the pandemic’s early stages.

Keywords: COVID-19; Mobility; Contagion; Telework; Essential workers; Public transportation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H12 I12 J17 R41 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jue.2020.103292

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