Saturday, October 24, 2020
Shikhar P Acharya (Loras College), Biniv K Maskay (Loras College), Partisanship And Mobility During The COVID-19 Pandemic, SSRN:
States and local governments have resorted to "social distancing" measures to control the spread of COVID-19 given the absence of pharmaceutical interventions. As communities practice social distancing, either voluntarily or to follow the directives issued by the local and state governments, the mobility of individuals in the community has been reduced remarkably. This paper studies if a county's political affiliation affects its mobility, a proxy for measuring the effectiveness of social distancing. Using the county-level voting record from the 2016 Presidential Election to determine whether a county is "democratic-leaning" or "republican-leaning," this paper finds that mobility, in the areas of retail and recreation, groceries and pharmacies, parks, transit stations, and workplace, are reduced more for "democratic-leaning" counties than for "republican-leaning" counties. On the other hand, residential mobility has increased more for "democratic-leaning" countries than for "republican-leaning" counties.