Is COVID-19 The Great Equalizer? Heterogenous Impact of Mobility Restrictions in a Metropolitan Area

28 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2021

See all articles by David Castells-Quintana

David Castells-Quintana

Autonomous University of Barcelona - Department of Applied Economics; University of Barcelona - Regional Quantitative Analysis Group (AQR-IREA)

Paula Herrera-Idárraga

Universidad Javeriana

Luis Quintero

Johns Hopkins University - Carey Business School

Guillermo Sinisterra

Universidad Javeriana

Date Written: January 20, 2021

Abstract

The capacity of areas within a city to comply with mobility restrictions aimed at curbing the COVID-19 pandemic is crucial to the local dynamics of the disease. In this paper, we study the efficacy of policies implemented to restrict mobility and their impact on the COVID-19 expansion, and how this impact depends on socioeconomic differences across within-city locations. To do so, we rely on unique and novel data showing changes in movements at highly disaggregated spatial levels. We use data from Bogota ́ to explore the relationship between mobility restrictions, as one of the main Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions implemented, people’s mobility, and the expansion of the COVID 19 pandemic. Bogota ́ implemented a general lockdown, followed by district-specific restrictions and subsidies. We find that the general lockdown imposed in the city significantly reduced mobility (by about 47%). By contrast, the marginal impact of district-specific restrictions and subsidies is found to be small. When looking at heterogeneous impact across locations, we find that poorer locations, with a higher share of informal workers, as well as those where households who have deficient infrastructure, reacted significantly less to mobility restrictions.

Keywords: mobility, development, inequality, COVID-19, place-based policies

JEL Classification: R11, R12, I18

Suggested Citation

Castells-Quintana, David and Herrera-Idáraga, Paula and Quintero, Luis and Sinisterra, Guillermo, Is COVID-19 The Great Equalizer? Heterogenous Impact of Mobility Restrictions in a Metropolitan Area (January 20, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3773885 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3773885

David Castells-Quintana

Autonomous University of Barcelona - Department of Applied Economics ( email )

Departamento de Economía Aplicada
Bellaterra, Barcelona 08193
Spain

University of Barcelona - Regional Quantitative Analysis Group (AQR-IREA) ( email )

Tower IV
Av. Diagonal 690
Barcelona, 08034
Spain

Paula Herrera-Idáraga

Universidad Javeriana ( email )

Colombia

Luis Quintero (Contact Author)

Johns Hopkins University - Carey Business School ( email )

100 International Drive
Baltimore, MD 21202
United States

Guillermo Sinisterra

Universidad Javeriana ( email )

Carrera 7 No. 40-62
Bogotá
Colombia

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