Political Beliefs affect Compliance with COVID-19 Social Distancing Orders

32 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2020 Last revised: 7 Jul 2020

See all articles by Marcus Painter

Marcus Painter

Saint Louis University - Department of Finance

Tian Qiu

University of Kentucky - Gatton College of Business and Economics

Date Written: July 3, 2020

Abstract

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

Painter, Marcus and Qiu, Tian, Political Beliefs affect Compliance with COVID-19 Social Distancing Orders (July 3, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3569098 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3569098

Marcus Painter (Contact Author)

Saint Louis University - Department of Finance ( email )

Saint Louis, MO
United States

Tian Qiu

University of Kentucky - Gatton College of Business and Economics ( email )

550 South Limestone
Lexington, KY 40506
United States

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