JUE Insight: How much does COVID-19 increase with mobility? Evidence from New York and four other U.S. cities

Edward L. Glaeser, Caitlin Gorback, Stephen J. Redding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations

Abstract

How effective are restrictions on mobility in limiting COVID-19 spread? Using zip code data across five U.S. cities, we estimate that total cases per capita decrease by 19% for every ten percentage point fall in mobility. Addressing endogeneity concerns, we instrument for travel by residential teleworkable and essential shares and find a 25% decline in cases per capita. Using panel data for NYC with week and zip code fixed effects, we estimate a decline of 30%. We find substantial spatial and temporal heterogeneity; east coast cities have stronger effects, with the largest for NYC in the pandemic's early stages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103292
JournalJournal of Urban Economics
Volume127
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Urban Studies

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Contagion
  • Essential workers
  • Mobility
  • Public transportation
  • Telework

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