Housing Situations and Local COVID-19 Infection Dynamics – A Case Study With Small-Area Data
20 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2023
Date Written: February 28, 2023
We study how dynamics of COVID-19 spread relate to local housing situations using small-scale data from neighborhoods in the German city Essen. We observe a common pattern from the literature: districts with worse housing situations (measured by the local rent level, the share of addresses in good locations and the share of households with more than 5 members) had more cases of COVID-19 during the pandemic. We test three hypotheses for this finding: local COVID-19 outbreaks might be (a) more frequent, (b) more severe, and (c) longer lasting in disadvantaged areas compared to more affluent areas. We find evidence for two of the three hypotheses. Less well-off areas have more local outbreaks. While these outbreaks are not more severe (in terms of the number of cases), they last longer. That is, while in districts waith better housing situations, local outbreaks are usually over after 20 days, cases are still higher in less affluent districts even after at least 25 days.
Funding Information: Funding from the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG, project: COVID-19 als Beschleuniger sozialer Ungleichheit – Kleinr ̈aumige Analysen mit deutschen Nachbarschafts-daten). This project has been funded by the German research association (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG), project number 492351283. The DFG is an independent organization that funds projects of basic research. It has no say in the results and did not read or release the paper beforehand.
Conflict of Interests: None to declare.
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