The Effect of International Travel on the Spread of COVID-19 in the U.S.

27 Pages Posted: 14 Jan 2021 Last revised: 6 Oct 2021

See all articles by Jeffrey Prince

Jeffrey Prince

Kelley School of Business, Indiana University

Daniel H. Simon

Indiana University Bloomington - O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs

Date Written: December 21, 2020

Abstract

We examine the relationship between incoming international passengers and COVID-19 case or death counts during the first wave of the pandemic in the U.S. We find passengers from Italy, but not China, were an important source of exposure, and thus increased the early spread of COVID-19 in the U.S. These results suggest stopping travel from Europe earlier likely would have had greater impact on reducing the spread of the virus in the US, compared to the earlier ban on travel from China. Further, banning travel from pandemic hotspots may be smart policy, depending on the specific characteristics of the virus.

Note: Funding: We received no funding.

Declaration of Interests: There are no conflicts of interest to report.

Keywords: COVID-19, travel, airlines, travel ban, transportation policy

JEL Classification: I18, L93

Suggested Citation

Prince, Jeffrey and Simon, Daniel H., The Effect of International Travel on the Spread of COVID-19 in the U.S. (December 21, 2020). Kelley School of Business Research Paper No. 2021-02, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3753069 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3753069

Jeffrey Prince

Kelley School of Business, Indiana University ( email )

1309 E. Tenth Street
Kelley School of Business
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States
8128562692 (Phone)
47405 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://https://kelley.iu.edu/jeffprin/

Daniel H. Simon (Contact Author)

Indiana University Bloomington - O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs ( email )

1315 East Tenth Street
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

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