Poverty and Economic Dislocation Reduce Compliance with COVID-19 Shelter-in-Place Protocols

31 Pages Posted: 15 Apr 2020 Last revised: 1 May 2020

See all articles by Austin L. Wright

Austin L. Wright

University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy

Konstantin Sonin

University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy; Higher School of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Jesse Driscoll

University of California at San Diego

Jarnickae Wilson

University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 29, 2020

Abstract

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

Wright, Austin L. and Sonin, Konstantin and Driscoll, Jesse and Wilson, Jarnickae, Poverty and Economic Dislocation Reduce Compliance with COVID-19 Shelter-in-Place Protocols (April 29, 2020). University of Chicago, Becker Friedman Institute for Economics Working Paper No. 2020-40. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3573637 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3573637

Austin L. Wright

University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy ( email )

1155 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.austinlwright.com

Konstantin Sonin (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy ( email )

1155 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Higher School of Economics ( email )

20 Myasnitskaya street
Moscow, 119017
Russia

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Jesse Driscoll

University of California at San Diego ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0519
United States

Jarnickae Wilson

University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy ( email )

1155 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

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