Poverty and Economic Dislocation Reduce Compliance with COVID-19 Shelter-in-Place Protocols
31 Pages Posted: 15 Apr 2020 Last revised: 1 May 2020
Date Written: April 29, 2020
Shelter-in-place policies reduce social contact and mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Inconsistent compliance with social distancing creates local and regional interpersonal transmission risks. Using county-day measures on population movement derived from cellphone location data, we investigate whether compliance with local shelter-in-place ordinances varies across US counties with different economic endowments. Our theoretical model implies poverty will reduce compliance with social distancing. We find evidence that low income areas comply less than counties with stronger economic endowments. Findings suggest targeted economic relief could improve future compliance.
Keywords: COVID-19, shelter-in-place, compliance
JEL Classification: H12, I18
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation