COVID-19 and Federalism in India: Capturing the Effects of Voluntary, State and Central Responses on Mobility

45 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2020

See all articles by Himangshu Kumar

Himangshu Kumar

Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram

Manikantha Nataraj

Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram

Srikanta Kundu

Centre for Development Studies (CDS) India

Date Written: August 10, 2020

Abstract

In response to rapidly rising COVID-19 cases, nations resorted to two channels to reduce population mobility and ensure social distancing. These channels were government-ordered containment and closure measures; and voluntary reductions in mobility due to rising public awareness. Initially, India’s state governments enacted varying social distancing policies until the Central government overrode states to impose a nationwide lockdown on 24th March. This paper examines the relative impact of state and central level policies on changes in mobility. This is analysed using event study difference-in-differences (DID) and panel GLS regressions of state-level data on closure orders and mobility changes. The first policy enacted by each state was ineffective on average, but some states managed to reduce mobility by imposing further restrictions. In contrast, the national lockdown had a much larger and persistent effect for almost all states. Further, rising awareness about COVID-19 did not lead to any independent changes in mobility.

Keywords: COVID-19, Mobility, Social Distancing, Federalism, Lockdown

JEL Classification: I18, H11, H77, C23

Suggested Citation

Kumar, Himangshu and Nataraj, Manikantha and Kundu, Srikanta, COVID-19 and Federalism in India: Capturing the Effects of Voluntary, State and Central Responses on Mobility (August 10, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3687803 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3687803

Himangshu Kumar (Contact Author)

Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram ( email )

Trivandrum 695 011, Kerala
India

Manikantha Nataraj

Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram ( email )

Trivandrum 695 011, Kerala
India

Srikanta Kundu

Centre for Development Studies (CDS) India ( email )

Trivandrum 695 011, Kerala
India

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