Doubts about Density: COVID-19 across Cities and Towns
6 Pages Posted: 19 May 2020
Date Written: May 12, 2020
It has been more than 100 days since the first case of COVID-19 was detected in the US. Until most recently information on the spread of the disease was not available by geographic areas smaller than counties. In an earlier piece we found a significant positive impact of county density on the daily progress of the disease in a dynamic model. Since then, sporadic data on disease incidence at the municipal level has become available in a few states. We use Massachusetts data released on 4/15/20 and then again on 5/6/20 since it is a fully incorporated state. We find that municipalities with greater density and with a greater share of land use in commercial-industrial categories have a significantly higher percapita incidence of the disease. The quantitative impact of these two “urban” variables is particularly large.
Note: Funding: None.
Conflict of Interest: None.
Keywords: Coronavirus, Density, Urban Economics
JEL Classification: R, I
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation