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COVID-19 policy analysis: labour structure dictates lockdown mobility behaviour

Heroy, S; Loaiza, I; Pentland, A; O'Clery, N; (2021) COVID-19 policy analysis: labour structure dictates lockdown mobility behaviour. Journal of the Royal Society, Interface , 18 (176) , Article 20201035. 10.1098/rsif.2020.1035. Green open access

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Abstract

Countries and cities around the world have resorted to unprecedented mobility restrictions to combat COVID-19 transmission. Here we exploit a natural experiment whereby Colombian cities implemented varied lockdown policies based on ID number and gender to analyse the impact of these policies on urban mobility. Using mobile phone data, we find that the restrictiveness of cities' mobility quotas (the share of residents allowed out daily according to policy advice) does not correlate with mobility reduction. Instead, we find that larger, wealthier cities with more formalized and complex industrial structure experienced greater reductions in mobility. Within cities, wealthier residents are more likely to reduce mobility, and commuters are especially more likely to stay at home when their work is located in wealthy or commercially/industrially formalized neighbourhoods. Hence, our results indicate that cities' employment characteristics and work-from-home capabilities are the primary determinants of mobility reduction. This finding underscores the need for mitigations aimed at lower income/informal workers, and sheds light on critical dependencies between socio-economic classes in Latin American cities.

Type: Article
Title: COVID-19 policy analysis: labour structure dictates lockdown mobility behaviour
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2020.1035
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/110.1098/rsif.2020.1035
Language: English
Additional information: © 2021 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.
Keywords: COVID-19, human mobility, inequality, labour economics, mobile device location data, policy analysis
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10125730
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