The Impact of Domestic Travel Bans on Covid-19 is Nonlinear in Their Duration

27 Pages Posted: 26 Apr 2021 Last revised: 2 Jun 2022

See all articles by Fiona Burlig

Fiona Burlig

University of Chicago

Anant Sudarshan

University of Chicago

Garrison Schlauch

Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 2021

Abstract

Domestic mobility restrictions to control the spread of COVID-19 are widespread in developing countries, and have trapped millions of migrant workers in hotspot cities. We show that bans can increase cumulative infections relative to a counterfactual sans restrictions. A SEIR model shows bans’ impacts are nonlinear in duration. We empirically test this hypothesis using a natural experiment in India as well as data from China, Indonesia, the Philippines, South Africa, and Kenya. Although very short and long restrictions limit the spread of disease, moderately lengthy restrictions substantially increase infections. This underscores the importance of considering duration in mobility-restricting policy decisions in developing countries.

Suggested Citation

Burlig, Fiona and Sudarshan, Anant and Schlauch, Garrison, The Impact of Domestic Travel Bans on Covid-19 is Nonlinear in Their Duration (April 2021). NBER Working Paper No. w28699, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3834139

Fiona Burlig (Contact Author)

University of Chicago ( email )

5757 S. University Ave
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Anant Sudarshan

University of Chicago ( email )

1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Garrison Schlauch

Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC) ( email )

Saieh Hall for Economics
5757 S. University Ave
Chicago, IL 60637

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
16
Abstract Views
91
PlumX Metrics