Stay-at-Home Orders, Social Distancing and Trust

32 Pages Posted: 19 May 2020

See all articles by Abel Brodeur

Abel Brodeur

IZA Institute of Labor Economics; University of Ottawa - Department of Economics

Idaliya Grigoryeva

Stanford University

Lamis Kattan

University of Ottawa


Better understanding whether and how communities respond to government decisions is crucial for policy makers and health officials in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In this study, we document the socioeconomic determinants of COVID-19 stay-at-home orders' compliance in the U.S. Using cell phone data measuring changes in average distance traveled and non-essential visitation, we find that: stay-at-home orders reduce mobility by about 8­–10 percentage points; high-trust counties decrease their mobility significantly more than low-trust counties post-lockdown; and counties with relatively more self-declared democrats decrease significantly more their mobility. We also provide evidence that the estimated eeffct on compliance post-lockdown is especially large for trust in the press, and relatively smaller for trust in science, medicine or government.

Keywords: COVID-19, stay-at-home orders, social distancing, trust

JEL Classification: H12, I12, I18

Suggested Citation

Brodeur, Abel and Brodeur, Abel and Grigoryeva, Idaliya and Kattan, Lamis, Stay-at-Home Orders, Social Distancing and Trust. IZA Discussion Paper No. 13234, Available at SSRN: or

Abel Brodeur (Contact Author)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072

University of Ottawa - Department of Economics ( email )

200 Wilbrod Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 6N5

HOME PAGE: http://

Idaliya Grigoryeva

Stanford University

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Lamis Kattan

University of Ottawa

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