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The Geographic Spread of Covid-19 Correlates with Structure of Social Networks as Measured by Facebook

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Listed:
  • Theresa Kuchler
  • Dominic Russel
  • Johannes Stroebel

Abstract

We use anonymized and aggregated data from Facebook to show that areas with stronger social ties to two early Covid-19 “hotspots” (Westchester County, NY, in the U.S. and Lodi province in Italy) generally have more confirmed Covid-19 cases as of March 30, 2020. These relationships hold after controlling for geographic distance to the hotspots as well as for the income and population density of the regions. These results suggest that data from online social networks may prove useful to epidemiologists and others hoping to forecast the spread of communicable diseases such as Covid-19.

Suggested Citation

  • Theresa Kuchler & Dominic Russel & Johannes Stroebel, 2020. "The Geographic Spread of Covid-19 Correlates with Structure of Social Networks as Measured by Facebook," CESifo Working Paper Series 8241, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_8241
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    File URL: https://www.cesifo.org/DocDL/cesifo1_wp8241.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Michael Bailey & Abhinav Gupta & Sebastian Hillenbrand & Theresa Kuchler & Robert Richmond & Johannes Stroebel, 2020. "International Trade and Social Connectedness," CESifo Working Paper Series 8248, CESifo.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Border Crossings: The Spread of COVID-19 across U.S. Counties
      by Jason Barr in Skynomics Blog on 2020-05-19 12:11:10

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Victor Aguirregabiria & Jiaying Gu & Yao Luo & Pedro Mira, 2020. "A Dynamic Structural Model of Virus Diffusion and Network Production: A First Report," Working Papers wp2020_2014, CEMFI.
    2. Béland, Louis-Philippe & Brodeur, Abel & Wright, Taylor, 2020. "The Short-Term Economic Consequences of COVID-19: Exposure to Disease, Remote Work and Government Response," GLO Discussion Paper Series 524, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    3. Christopher Avery & William Bossert & Adam Clark & Glenn Ellison & Sara Fisher Ellison, 2020. "Policy Implications of Models of the Spread of Coronavirus: Perspectives and Opportunities for Economists," NBER Working Papers 27007, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Yothin Jinjarak & Rashad Ahmed & Sameer Nair-Desai & Weining Xin & Joshua Aizenman, 2020. "Accounting for Global COVID-19 Diffusion Patterns, January–April 2020," Economics of Disasters and Climate Change, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 515-559, October.
    5. Fabio Milani, 2021. "COVID-19 outbreak, social response, and early economic effects: a global VAR analysis of cross-country interdependencies," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 34(1), pages 223-252, January.
    6. Beland, Louis-Philippe & Brodeur, Abel & Wright, Taylor, 2020. "COVID-19, Stay-at-Home Orders and Employment: Evidence from CPS Data," GLO Discussion Paper Series 559, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    7. Monte, Ferdinando, 2020. "Mobility Zones," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 194(C).
    8. Bailey, Michael & Farrell, Patrick & Kuchler, Theresa & Stroebel, Johannes, 2020. "Social connectedness in urban areas," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C).
    9. Viktor Stojkoski & Zoran Utkovski & Petar Jolakoski & Dragan Tevdovski & Ljupco Kocarev, 2020. "Correlates of the country differences in the infection and mortality rates during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic: Evidence from Bayesian model averaging," Papers 2004.07947, arXiv.org, revised Jan 2022.
    10. Tobin Hanspal & Annika Weber & Johannes Wohlfart, 2020. "Exposure to the Covid-19 Stock Market Crash and its Effect on Household Expectations," CESifo Working Paper Series 8244, CESifo.
    11. Kristian S. Blickle, 2020. "Pandemics Change Cities: Municipal Spending and Voter Extremism in Germany, 1918-1933," Staff Reports 921, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    12. Rothert, Jacek, 2021. "Strategic inefficiencies and federal redistribution during uncoordinated response to pandemic waves," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 69(C).
    13. Cristini, Annalisa & Trivin, Pedro, 2020. "Close encounters on the verge of a pandemic: the role of social contacts on the spread and mortality of COVID-19," MPRA Paper 103075, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. 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.
    15. Diemer, Andreas & Regan, Tanner, 2020. "No inventor is an island: social connectedness and the geography of knowledge flows in the US," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 108500, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    16. Reyer Gerlagh, 2020. "Closed-Form Solutions for Optimal Social Distancing in a SIR Model of Covid-19 Suppression," CESifo Working Paper Series 8335, CESifo.
    17. Miguel Sánchez-Romero & Vanessa di Lego & Alexia Prskawetz & Bernardo L. Queiroz, 2021. "An indirect method to monitor the fraction of people ever infected with COVID-19: An application to the United States," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 16(1), pages 1-14, January.
    18. Theresa Kuchler & Yan Li & Lin Peng & Johannes Stroebel & Dexin Zhou, 2020. "Social Proximity to Capital: Implications for Investors and Firms," NBER Working Papers 27299, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Ascani, Andrea & Faggian, Alessandra & Montresor, Sandro & Palma, Alessandro, 2021. "Mobility in times of pandemics: Evidence on the spread of COVID19 in Italy's labour market areas," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 444-454.
    20. 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).
    21. Bailey, Michael & Gupta, Abhinav & Hillenbrand, Sebastian & Kuchler, Theresa & Richmond, Robert & Stroebel, Johannes, 2021. "International trade and social connectedness," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 129(C).
    22. Meyer, Christian Johannes & Hardy, Morgan & Witte, Marc & Kagy, Gisella & Demeke, Eyoual, 2021. "The market-reach of pandemics: Evidence from female workers in Ethiopia’s ready-made garment industry," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 137(C).
    23. Christopher Avery & William Bossert & Adam Thomas Clark & Glenn Ellison & Sara Ellison, 2020. "Policy Implications of Models of the Spread of Coronavirus: Perspectives and Opportunities for Economists," CESifo Working Paper Series 8293, CESifo.
    24. Chad D. Cotti & Bryan Engelhardt & Joshua Foster & Erik T. Nesson & Paul S. Niekamp, 2020. "The Relationship between In-Person Voting and COVID-19: Evidence from the Wisconsin Primary," NBER Working Papers 27187, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    social connectedness; Covid-19; coronavirus; communicable disease;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C60 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - General
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General

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