The Social Divide of Social Distancing: Lockdowns in Santiago during the COVID-19 Pandemic

27 Pages Posted: 14 Sep 2020 Last revised: 24 Sep 2020

See all articles by Aldo Carranza

Aldo Carranza

Stanford University

Marcel Goic

University of Chile - Industrial Engineering

Eduardo Lara

University of Chile

Marcelo Olivares

University of Chile; University of Chile - Engineering Department

Gabriel Y. Weintraub

Stanford Graduate School of Business, Stanford University

Julio Covarrubia

Empresa Nacional de Telecomunicaciones (ENTEL)

Cristian Escobedo

University of Chile

Natalia Jara

Empresa Nacional de Telecomunicaciones (ENTEL)

Leonardo J. Basso

Universidad de Chile - Civil Engineering Department; Instituto Sistemas Complejos de Ingenieria (ISCI)

Date Written: September 12, 2020

Abstract

Shelter-in-place and lockdowns have been some of the main non-pharmaceutical interventions that governments around the globe have implemented to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. In this paper we study the impact of such interventions in the capital of a developing country, Santiago, Chile, that exhibits large socioeconomic inequality. A distinctive feature of our study is that we use granular geo-located cell-phone data to measure shelter-at-home behavior as well as trips within the city, thereby allowing to capture the adherence to lockdowns. Using panel data linear regression models we first show that a 10\% reduction in mobility implies a 13-26\% reduction in infections. However, the impact of social distancing measures and lockdowns on mobility is highly heterogeneous and dependent on socioeconomic level. While high income zones can exhibit reductions in mobility of around 60-80\% (significantly driven by voluntary lockdowns), lower income zones only reduce mobility by 20-40\%. Our results show that failing to acknowledge the heterogenous effect of shelter-in-place behavior even within a city can have dramatic consequences in the contention of the pandemic. It also confirms the challenges of implementing mandatory lockdowns in lower-income communities, where people generate their income from their daily work. To be effective, lockdowns in counties of low socioeconomic levels may need to be complemented with other measures that support their inhabitants, providing aid to increase compliance.

Keywords: Lockdowns, Mobility, Pandemic, Socioeconomic Heterogeneity

Suggested Citation

Carranza, Aldo and Goic, Marcel and Lara, Eduardo and Olivares, Marcelo and Weintraub, Gabriel Y. and Covarrubia, Julio and Escobedo, Cristian and Jara, Natalia and Basso, Leonardo J., The Social Divide of Social Distancing: Lockdowns in Santiago during the COVID-19 Pandemic (September 12, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3691373 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3691373

Aldo Carranza

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Marcel Goic

University of Chile - Industrial Engineering ( email )

República 701, Santiago
Chile

Eduardo Lara

University of Chile ( email )

Pío Nono Nº1, Providencia
Santiago, R. Metropolitana 7520421
Chile

Marcelo Olivares

University of Chile ( email )

Pío Nono Nº1, Providencia
Santiago, R. Metropolitana 7520421
Chile

University of Chile - Engineering Department ( email )

Republica 701 Santiago
Chile

Gabriel Y. Weintraub (Contact Author)

Stanford Graduate School of Business, Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Julio Covarrubia

Empresa Nacional de Telecomunicaciones (ENTEL)

Chile

Cristian Escobedo

University of Chile

Pío Nono Nº1, Providencia
Santiago, R. Metropolitana 7520421
Chile

Natalia Jara

Empresa Nacional de Telecomunicaciones (ENTEL)

Chile

Leonardo J. Basso

Universidad de Chile - Civil Engineering Department ( email )

Casilla 228-3
Santiago
Chile
56 2 978 4380 (Phone)
56 2 689 4206 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.leonardojbasso.cl

Instituto Sistemas Complejos de Ingenieria (ISCI) ( email )

Republica 695
Santiago
Santiago
Chile

HOME PAGE: http://www.isci.cl

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