Social connections with COVID-19-affected areas increase compliance with mobility restrictions

Item Type Journal paper
Abstract

We study the role of social connections in U.S. households’ compliance with mobility restrictions imposed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, using aggregated and anonymized Facebook data on social connections and mobile phone data for measuring social distancing at the county level. Relative to average, a one-standard-deviation increase in social connections with China and Italy - the first countries with major outbreaks of the virus - is associated with a nearly 50% increase in the estimated effect of mobility restrictions. Our results are not driven by traveler risk, as areas at higher risk from COVID-19 generally comply with restrictions more and are less affected by social connections. Social connections with counties with a less educated population, higher Trump vote share, and higher fraction of climate change deniers are associated with decreased effects of mobility restrictions. Our findings are consistent with social networks contributing to people’s information acquisition about the pandemic.

Authors Charoenwong, Ben; Kwan, Alan & Pursiainen, Vesa
Journal or Publication Title Science Advances
Language English
Subjects social sciences
health sciences
HSG Classification contribution to scientific community
Refereed Yes
Date 3 November 2020
Official URL https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/early/2020...
Depositing User Prof. PhD Vesa Pursiainen
Date Deposited 05 Nov 2020 00:12
Last Modified 05 Nov 2020 00:12
URI: https://www.alexandria.unisg.ch/publications/261364

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Citation

Charoenwong, Ben; Kwan, Alan & Pursiainen, Vesa (2020) Social connections with COVID-19-affected areas increase compliance with mobility restrictions. Science Advances,

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https://www.alexandria.unisg.ch/id/eprint/261364
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