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JUE Insight: Measuring movement and social contact with smartphone data: a real-time application to COVID-19

Victor Couture, Jonathan Dingel (), Allison Green, Jessie Handbury and Kevin R. Williams

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

Abstract: Tracking human activity in real time and at fine spatial scale is particularly valuable during episodes such as the COVID-19 pandemic. In this paper, we discuss the suitability of smartphone data for quantifying movement and social contact. These data cover broad sections of the US population and exhibit pre-pandemic patterns similar to conventional survey data. We develop and make publicly available a location exposure index that summarizes county-to-county movements and a device exposure index that quantifies social contact within venues. We also investigate the reliability of smartphone movement data during the pandemic.

JEL-codes: C8 R1 R4 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:juecon:v:127:y:2022:i:c:s0094119021000103

DOI: 10.1016/j.jue.2021.103328

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