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Internal migration and the spread of Covid-19

Michele Valsecchi () and Ruben Durante ()
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Ruben Durante: Barcelona School of Economics and CEPR

No w0276, Working Papers from New Economic School (NES)

Abstract: How does internal migration affect the spread of a pandemic? Looking at the case of Italy and using data on the province of origin of migrants located in outbreak areas, we document that provinces more exposed to the virus experience higher mortality in post-outbreak weeks, even when comparing provinces within the same region. We calculate that, had all non-outbreak provinces been as exposed as the one at the lowest decile of the exposure distribution, they would have experienced 60% fewer COVID-19 deaths. Additional evidence from phone records data confirms that the effect is mainly driven by increased mobility from outbreak areas.

Keywords: internal migration; mobility; health; epidemic; Covid-19 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H12 I10 J61 R23 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 44 pages
Date: 2020-08
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dem, nep-eur, nep-hea and nep-mig
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