Staggered Adoption of Nonpharmaceutical Interventions to Contain COVID-19 Across U.S. Counties

Vadim Elenev, Luis Quintero, Alessandro Rebucci, Emilia Simeonova

Johns Hopkins Carey Business School Research Paper No. 20-06

Keystone’s COVID-19 NPI dataset, launched in April 2020, continues to be leveraged across a spectrum of scientists, public policy experts, data scientists, and researchers world-wide. In this recent Johns Hopkins Carey Business School Research paper (No. 20-06), learn how the authors’ work estimates direct and spillover effects of social distancing measures intended to slow the spread of COVID-19 using mobility indicators based on cellphone data.

Abstract

We estimate direct and spillover effects of social distancing measures intended to slow the spread of COVID-19 at the U.S. county level using mobility indicators based on cellphone data. We find that spillover effects range between a third and a half of the direct effect depending on the particular outcome or policy considered. Our results suggest that decentralized NPI decisions, which does not internalize externalities generated on surrounding locations, could result in lower NPI implementation and weaker reduction in mobility, and hence more personal contacts and interactions in leisure and work activities, which are the main driver of the COVID-19 transmission.

Link to full article