Political Beliefs affect Compliance with COVID-19 Social Distancing Orders
32 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2020 Last revised: 7 Jul 2020
Date Written: July 3, 2020
Social distancing is vital to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus. We use geolocation data to document that political beliefs present a significant limitation to the effectiveness of state-level social distancing orders. Residents in Republican counties are less likely to completely stay at home after a state order has been implemented relative to those in Democratic counties. Debit card transaction data shows that Democrats are more likely to switch to remote spending after state orders are implemented. Political alignment with officials giving orders may partially explain these partisan differences.
Keywords: COVID-19, Coronavirus, Political polarization, Geolocation data, Credit card transaction data
JEL Classification: P16, C55, H7
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation