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Urban density and Covid-19

Author

Listed:
  • Felipe Carozzi
  • Sandro Provenzano
  • Sefi Roth

Abstract

This paper estimates the link between population density and COVID-19 spread and severity in the contiguous United States. To overcome confounding factors, we use two Instrumental Variable (IV) strategies that exploit geological features and historical populations to induce exogenous variation in population density without affecting COVID-19 cases and deaths directly. We find that density has affected the timing of the outbreak, with denser locations more likely to have an early outbreak. However, we find no evidence that population density is positively associated with time-adjusted COVID-19 cases and deaths. Using data from Google, Facebook, the US Census and The County Health Rankings and Roadmaps program, we also investigate several possible mechanisms for our findings. We show that population density can affect the timing of outbreaks through higher connectedness of denser locations. Furthermore, we find that population density is positively associated with proxies for social distancing measures, access to healthcare and income, highlighting the importance of these mediating factors in containing the outbreak.

Suggested Citation

  • Felipe Carozzi & Sandro Provenzano & Sefi Roth, 2020. "Urban density and Covid-19," CEP Discussion Papers dp1711, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1711
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    6. Carozzi, Felipe & Roth, Sefi, 2020. "Dirty Density: Air Quality and the Density of American Cities," IZA Discussion Papers 13191, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
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    Blog mentions

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    1. The Pandemic Tsunami: How COVID-19 Swept Across America
      by Jason Barr in Skynomics Blog on 2021-02-25 13:08:22

    RePEc Biblio mentions

    As found on the RePEc Biblio, the curated bibliography for Economics:
    1. > Economics of Welfare > Health Economics > Economics of Pandemics > Specific pandemics > Covid-19 > Health

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    Cited by:

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    2. Mello, M. & Moscelli, G., 2021. "Voting, contagion and the trade-off between public health and political rights: quasi-experimental evidence from the Italian 2020 polls," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 21/17, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    3. Olga De Cos & Valentín Castillo & David Cantarero, 2020. "Facing a Second Wave from a Regional View: Spatial Patterns of COVID-19 as a Key Determinant for Public Health and Geoprevention Plans," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 17(22), pages 1-18, November.
    4. Rafiq, Rezwana & McNally, Michael G. & Sarwar Uddin, Yusuf & Ahmed, Tanjeeb, 2022. "Impact of working from home on activity-travel behavior during the COVID-19 Pandemic: An aggregate structural analysis," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 159(C), pages 35-54.
    5. Mello, Marco & Moscelli, Giuseppe, 2022. "Voting, contagion and the trade-off between public health and political rights: Quasi-experimental evidence from the Italian 2020 polls," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 200(C), pages 1025-1052.
    6. Richard Florida & Charlotta Mellander, 2022. "The geography of COVID-19 in Sweden," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 68(1), pages 125-150, February.
    7. Max Nathan & Henry Overman, 2020. "Will coronavirus cause a big city exodus?," Environment and Planning B, , vol. 47(9), pages 1537-1542, November.
    8. Althoff, Lukas & Eckert, Fabian & Ganapati, Sharat & Walsh, Conor, 2022. "The Geography of Remote Work," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(C).
    9. Han Wang & Andres Rodriguez-Pose, 2021. "Local institutions and pandemics: City autonomy and the Black Death," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 2130, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Sep 2021.
    10. Pajaron, Marjorie C. & Vasquez, Glacer Niño A., 2021. "How effective is community quarantine in the Philippines? A quasi-experimental analysis," GLO Discussion Paper Series 782, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    11. Mouratidis, Kostas, 2021. "How COVID-19 reshaped quality of life in cities: A synthesis and implications for urban planning," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 111(C).
    12. De Simone Elina & Mourao Paulo Reis, 2021. "What determines governments’ response time to COVID-19? A cross-country inquiry on the measure restricting internal movements," Open Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 106-117, January.
    13. Deopa, Neha & Fortunato, Piergiuseppe, 2022. "Language and the cultural markers of COVID-19," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 301(C).
    14. Jaymee Sheng & Anup Malani & Ashish Goel & Purushotham Botla, 2021. "Does Mobility Explain Why Slums Were Hit Harder by COVID-19 in Mumbai, India?," NBER Working Papers 28541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Sheng, Jaymee & Malani, Anup & Goel, Ashish & Botla, Purushotham, 2022. "JUE insights: Does mobility explain why slums were hit harder by COVID-19 in Mumbai, India?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C).
    16. Sanghyeon Ko & Dongwoo Lee, 2021. "Interdependencies of Urban Behavioral Dynamics Whilst COVID-19 Spread," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(17), pages 1-21, September.
    17. Siew Bee Aw & Bor Tsong Teh & Gabriel Hoh Teck Ling & Pau Chung Leng & Weng Howe Chan & Mohd Hamdan Ahmad, 2021. "The COVID-19 Pandemic Situation in Malaysia: Lessons Learned from the Perspective of Population Density," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 18(12), pages 1-21, June.
    18. Mohammad Reza Farzanegan, 2021. "The Effect of Public Corruption on Covid-19 Fatality Rate: A Cross-Country Examination," CESifo Working Paper Series 8938, CESifo.
    19. Milena Almagro & Joshua Coven & Arpit Gupta & Angelo Orane-Hutchinson, 2020. "Racial Disparities in Frontline Workers and Housing Crowding during COVID-19: Evidence from Geolocation Data," Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute Working Papers 37, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    20. Kar, Armita & Carrel, Andre L. & Miller, Harvey J. & Le, Huyen T. K., 2021. "Reducing public transit compounds social vulnerabilities during COVID-19," OSF Preprints 5xerm, Center for Open Science.
    21. Fabio Vanni & David Lambert, 2021. "On the regularity of human mobility patterns at times of a pandemic," Papers 2104.08975, arXiv.org.
    22. Nikta Bahman Bijari & Mohammad Hadi Mahdinia & Mohammad Reza Mansouri Daneshvar, 2021. "Investigation of the urbanization contribution to the COVID-19 outbreak in Iran and the MECA countries," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 23(12), pages 17964-17985, December.
    23. Armillei, Francesco & Filippucci, Francesco & Fletcher, Thomas, 2021. "Did Covid-19 hit harder in peripheral areas? The case of Italian municipalities," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 42(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Covid-19; density;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)

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