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From the lockdown to the new normal: individual mobility and local labor market characteristics following the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy

Author

Listed:
  • Mauro Caselli

    (University of Trento)

  • Andrea Fracasso

    (University of Trento)

  • Sergio Scicchitano

    (National Institute for Public Policies Analysis (INAPP)
    Global Labor Organisation (GLO))

Abstract

Italy was among the first countries to introduce drastic measures to reduce individual mobility in order to slow the diffusion of COVID-19. The first measures imposed by the central authorities on March 8, 2020, were unanticipated and highly localized, focusing on 26 provinces. Additional nationwide measures were imposed after one day, and were removed only after June 3. Looking at these watershed moments of the pandemic, this paper explores the impact of the adoption of localized restrictions on changes in individual mobility in Italy using a spatial discontinuity approach. Results show that these measures lowered individual mobility by 7 percentage points on top of the reduction in mobility recorded in the adjacent untreated areas. The study also fills a gap in the literature in that it looks at the changes in mobility after the nationwide restrictions were lifted and shows how the recovery in mobility patterns is related to various characteristics of local labour markets. Areas with a higher proportion of professions exposed to diseases, more suitable for flexible work arrangements, and with a higher share of fixed-term contracts before the pandemic are characterised by a smaller increase in mobility after re-opening.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:35:y:2022:i:4:d:10.1007_s00148-022-00891-4
    DOI: 10.1007/s00148-022-00891-4
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    COVID-19; Lockdown; Mobility; Coronavirus pandemic; Local labour markets;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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