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Divided we stay home: Social distancing and ethnic diversity

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  • Egorov, Georgy
  • Enikolopov, Ruben
  • Makarin, Alexey
  • Petrova, Maria

Abstract

Homogeneous societies usually provide more public goods. Voluntary social distancing in a pandemic is also a public good, but it has private benefits, too. Theoretically, we show that presence of population groups with different rationales for social distancing can lead to stricter observance of social distancing in more diverse societies. Empirically, we find that mobility reduction following the first local COVID-19 case was stronger in Russian cities with higher ethnic fractionalization and xenophobia. For identification, we predict the timing of the first case using historical patterns of internal migration. Using the United States data on mobility produces similar results.

Suggested Citation

  • Egorov, Georgy & Enikolopov, Ruben & Makarin, Alexey & Petrova, Maria, 2021. "Divided we stay home: Social distancing and ethnic diversity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 194(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:194:y:2021:i:c:s0047272720301924
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2020.104328
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    2. Abel Brodeur & David Gray & Anik Islam & Suraiya Bhuiyan, 2021. "A literature review of the economics of COVID‐19," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(4), pages 1007-1044, September.
    3. Fazio, Andrea & Reggiani, Tommaso G. & Sabatini, Fabio, 2021. "The Political Cost of Lockdown's Enforcement," IZA Discussion Papers 14032, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Michele Valsecchi & Ruben Durante, 2020. "Internal migration and the spread of Covid-19," Working Papers w0276, New Economic School (NES).
    5. Durante, Ruben & Guiso, Luigi & Gulino, Giorgio, 2021. "Asocial capital: Civic culture and social distancing during COVID-19," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 194(C).
    6. Luca Bonacini & Giovanni Gallo & Fabrizio Patriarca, 2021. "Identifying policy challenges of COVID-19 in hardly reliable data and judging the success of lockdown measures," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 34(1), pages 275-301, January.
    7. Garz, Marcel & Zhuang, Maiting, 2022. "Media coverage and pandemic behaviour: Evidence from Sweden," Misum Working Paper Series 2022-9, Stockholm School of Economics, Mistra Center for Sustainable Markets (Misum).
    8. Zéphirin Nganmeni & Roland Pongou & Bertrand Tchantcho & Jean-Baptiste Tondji, 2022. "Vaccine and Inclusion," Working Papers 2202E Classification-C62,, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
    9. Valsecchi, Michele & Durante, Ruben, 2021. "Internal migration networks and mortality in home communities: Evidence from Italy during the Covid-19 pandemic," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 140(C).
    10. Berniell, Ines & Fawaz, Yarine & Laferrere, Anne & Mira, Pedro & Pronkina, Elizaveta, 2021. "The COVID-19 Curtain: Can Past Communist Regimes Explain the Vaccination Divide in Europe?," IZA Discussion Papers 14833, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    11. Lu, Runjing & Sheng, Sophie Yanying, 2022. "How racial animus forms and spreads: Evidence from the coronavirus pandemic," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 200(C), pages 82-98.
    12. Ash, Elliott & Galletta, Sergio & Hangartner, Dominik & Margalit, Yotam & Pinna, Matteo, 2020. "The Effect of Fox News on Health Behavior During COVID-19," SocArXiv abqe5, Center for Open Science.
    13. Zakharov, Nikita, 2020. "The protective effect of smoking against COVID-19: A population-based study using instrumental variables," MPRA Paper 101267, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Bach Nguyen, 2022. "Internal migration and earnings: Do migrant entrepreneurs and migrant employees differ?," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 101(4), pages 901-944, August.
    15. James Alm, 2022. "Trust, the Pandemic, and Public Policies," National Tax Journal, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75(2), pages 355-370.
    16. Maxim Ananyev & Michael Poyker & Yuan Tian, 2021. "The safest time to fly: pandemic response in the era of Fox News," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 34(3), pages 775-802, July.
    17. Andrey Simonov & Szymon Sacher & Jean-Pierre Dube & Shirsho Biswas, 2020. "The Persuasive Effect of Fox News: Non-Compliance with Social Distancing During the COVID-19 Pandemic," Working Papers 2020-67, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.
    18. Deiana, Claudio & Geraci, Andrea & Mazzarella, Gianluca & Sabatini, Fabio, 2022. "Can relief measures nudge compliance in a public health crisis? Evidence from a kinked fiscal policy rule," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 202(C), pages 407-428.
    19. Andrey Simonov & Szymon Sacher & Jean-Pierre Dube & Shirsho Biswas, 2020. "The Persuasive Effect of Fox News: Non-Compliance with Social Distancing During the COVID-19 Pandemic," Working Papers 2020-67, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.
    20. Deiana, Claudio & Geraci, Andrea & Mazzarella, Gianluca & Sabatini, Fabio, 2021. "COVID-19 Relief Programs and Compliance with Confinement Measures," IZA Discussion Papers 14064, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    21. Mauro Caselli & Andrea Fracasso & Sergio Scicchitano, 2022. "From the lockdown to the new normal: individual mobility and local labor market characteristics following the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 35(4), pages 1517-1550, October.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    COVID-19; Pandemic; Social distancing; Self-isolation; Quarantine; Fractionalization; Diversity; Altruism; Xenophobia; Russia;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior

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