Stimulus Relief Funds increase social distance to help stop the spread of COVID-19

Gradual application of the decrees in the shelter. States and cities initially appealed to existing decrees in the spring of 2020 to try to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. The authors of this study examined the use of a large number of geographically located mobile phones. This information helped them assess compliance with stay-at-home orders. Credit: UC San Diego

The findings show that economically vulnerable families need to leave home more to work.

Like case rates COVID-19 to tighten restrictions on staying at home to reach new heights among the people, to stop the spread of many provinces and cities. New research shows that those suffering from economic hardship are less likely to comply with stay-at-home orders; However, if the same US residents and their families received an incentive fund, they would be more likely to follow the new public health rules.

The results, published in the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, show that among the measures taken to address the economic dislocation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the CARES Act has helped reduce an important source of viral spread: social interactions.

In a new document, researchers from the University of California, San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy, and University of Chicago For the first time, Harris State School of Politics tried to accurately measure the desire to comply with ground decrees in the spring of 2020.

Researchers have studied the use of a large number of geographically located mobile phones. The data provided by the analytical company UNACAST estimates the number of people living in a house, the average time spent at home or abroad, and changes in the average distance traveled by the user. This information helped researchers assess compliance with home stay orders.

Shelter Compatibility at the Place of Economic Dislocation

Poor communities that are economically dislocated are least suited to shelter policies. Credit: UC San Diego

To determine how economic conditions shape compatibility, the researchers compared cell phone data with county records with average annual household income in the United States from February to July 2020. Adapt to each district, including the severity of the virus, the unemployment rate, the population density, guerrilla warfare, and the places where residents receive news.

Countries with income from the media are in line with the policy of the shelter, the actions are reduced by 60 percent until the policy is implemented; However, compliance with asylum orders in the regions below the median income is at best unequal.

Jesse Driscoll, co-author of the PhD in Political Science at UC San Diego’s School of Global Politics and Strategy, said, “Not surprisingly, poor communities in a state of economic exile are less likely to comply with resettlement policies.” “Evidence suggests that working-class families, especially those who have lost their jobs or may soon lose their jobs, are less likely to stay home because they have to leave home to work. The most pressing public policy question this winter is when behavioral inspections last time. is not to be changed. ”

To assess the impact of incentive checks on the $ 2.2 trillion CARES Act passed in March 2020, researchers used the same mobile phone traffic data to determine whether household income increased and behavior changed as more residents in the same area began receiving stimulus payments. they did.

While some beneficiaries received their checks a few weeks earlier than others, the group was able to measure the impact of stimulus dollars on residents using data from buyers who use e-banking to deposit funds provided by financial information company Facteus.

Researchers have found that local stimulus injections significantly increase social distance. For every extra dollar per capita taken from a county, the movement was temporarily reduced by more than 1 percent.

“As counties received more incentive funds, residents stayed more at home,” the authors write. “When they came out, people in areas where most of them had stimulus checks traveled less than those who didn’t in areas where checks hadn’t arrived yet.”

“Targeted economic relief, such as direct stimulus transfers and rising unemployment benefits, could lead to a limited potential spread of COVID-19 among economically vulnerable populations.”

Reference: “Poverty and economic displacement reduce compliance with COVID-19 shelter protocols” Austin L. Wright, Konstantin Sonin,
Jesse Driscoll and Jarnickae Wilson, October 17, 2020, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization.
DOI: 10.1016 / j.jebo.2020.10.008

Konstantin Sonin, Harrison Public Policy School of the University of Chicago, and Jarnickae Wilson of JP Morgan, co-authors of the article, “Poverty and economic displacement reduce compliance with the COVID-19 asylum protocol.”

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