Unequal Response to Mobility Restrictions: Evidence from COVID-19 Lockdown in the City of Bogotá
UNDP COVID-19 Policy Documents Series
34 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2021 Last revised: 11 May 2021
Date Written: May 1, 2021
In this paper, we study the efficacy of government-mandated mobility restrictions on curbing urban mobility, and estimate the spatial heterogeneity in lockdown compliance. We explore the role of cash subsidies disbursed during lockdown as well as socioeconomic differences across neighborhoods in explaining their unequal response to mobility restrictions. We rely on novel data showing changes in movements at highly disaggregated spatial units in Bogotá, before and during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, matched with data on socioeconomic characteristics as well as data on Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs) implemented in the period of analysis. We find that the general lockdown imposed in the city significantly reduced mobility (by about 41pp). When looking at the unequal response across locations, we find that low-income areas, with higher population density, informality and overcrowding, reacted less to mobility restrictions. We also find that cash subsidies were not sufficient to make compliance easier in low-income neighborhoods.
Keywords: mobility, development, inequality, COVID-19, place-based policies
JEL Classification: R11, R12, I18
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation