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From the lockdown to the new normal: individual mobility and local labor market characteristics following the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy

Mauro Caselli (), Andrea Fracasso () and Sergio Scicchitano ()
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Sergio Scicchitano: National Institute for Public Policies Analysis (INAPP)

Journal of Population Economics, 2022, vol. 35, issue 4, No 5, 1517-1550

Abstract: Abstract Italy was among the first countries to introduce drastic measures to reduce individual mobility in order to slow the diffusion of COVID-19. The first measures imposed by the central authorities on March 8, 2020, were unanticipated and highly localized, focusing on 26 provinces. Additional nationwide measures were imposed after one day, and were removed only after June 3. Looking at these watershed moments of the pandemic, this paper explores the impact of the adoption of localized restrictions on changes in individual mobility in Italy using a spatial discontinuity approach. Results show that these measures lowered individual mobility by 7 percentage points on top of the reduction in mobility recorded in the adjacent untreated areas. The study also fills a gap in the literature in that it looks at the changes in mobility after the nationwide restrictions were lifted and shows how the recovery in mobility patterns is related to various characteristics of local labour markets. Areas with a higher proportion of professions exposed to diseases, more suitable for flexible work arrangements, and with a higher share of fixed-term contracts before the pandemic are characterised by a smaller increase in mobility after re-opening.

Keywords: COVID-19; Lockdown; Mobility; Coronavirus pandemic; Local labour markets (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I15 I18 J61 R12 R23 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1007/s00148-022-00891-4

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