Is COVID-19 The Great Equalizer? Heterogenous Impact of Mobility Restrictions in a Metropolitan Area
28 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2021
Date Written: January 20, 2021
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: Suggested Citation