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Mobility under the COVID-19 Pandemic: Asymmetric Effects across Gender and Age


  • Sandri, Damiano
  • Caselli, Francesca
  • Grigoli, Francesco
  • Spilimbergo, Antonio


Overall mobility declined during the COVID-19 pandemic because of government lockdowns and voluntary social distancing. Yet, aggregate data mask important heterogeneous effects across segments of the population. Using unique mobility indicators based on anonymized and aggregate data provided by Vodafone for Italy, Portugal, and Spain, we find that lockdowns had a larger impact on the mobility of women and younger cohorts. Younger people also experienced a sharper drop in mobility in response to rising COVID-19 infections. Our findings, which are consistent across estimation methods and robust to a variety of tests, warn about a possible widening of gender and inter-generational inequality.

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  • Sandri, Damiano & Caselli, Francesca & Grigoli, Francesco & Spilimbergo, Antonio, 2020. "Mobility under the COVID-19 Pandemic: Asymmetric Effects across Gender and Age," CEPR Discussion Papers 15592, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:15592

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    Cited by:

    1. Majerčák Jozef & Vakulenko Sergej Petrovich, 2023. "The Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Population Mobility in the Czech Republic and Slovakia," LOGI – Scientific Journal on Transport and Logistics, Sciendo, vol. 14(1), pages 158-168, January.
    2. Fiaschi, Davide & Tealdi, Cristina, 2023. "The attachment of adult women to the Italian labour market in the shadow of COVID-19," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(C).
    3. Tsutomu Watanabe & Tomoyoshi Yabu, 2021. "Japan’s Voluntary Lockdown: Further Evidence Based on Age-Specific Mobile Location Data," CARF F-Series CARF-F-508, Center for Advanced Research in Finance, Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo.
    4. Davide Torre & Danilo Liuzzi & Rosario Maggistro & Simone Marsiglio, 2022. "Mobility Choices and Strategic Interactions in a Two-Group Macroeconomic–Epidemiological Model," Dynamic Games and Applications, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 110-132, March.
    5. Fiaschi, Davide & Tealdi, Cristina, 2022. "Scarring Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Italian Labour Market," IZA Discussion Papers 15102, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Fitwi Wolday & Lars Böcker, 2023. "Exploring changes in residential preference during COVID-19: Implications to contemporary urban planning," Environment and Planning B, , vol. 50(5), pages 1280-1297, June.
    7. Tsutomu Watanabe & Tomoyoshi Yabu, 2021. "Japan’s voluntary lockdown: further evidence based on age-specific mobile location data," The Japanese Economic Review, Springer, vol. 72(3), pages 333-370, July.
    8. Sara Grubanov-Boskovic & Spyridon Spyratos & Stefano Maria Iacus & Umberto Minora & Francesco Sermi, 2021. "Monitoring COVID-19-induced gender differences in teleworking rates using Mobile Network Data," Papers 2111.09442,, revised Nov 2021.
    9. Bluedorn, John & Caselli, Francesca & Hansen, Niels-Jakob & Shibata, Ippei & Tavares, Marina M., 2023. "Gender and employment in the COVID-19 recession: Cross-Country evidence on “She-Cessions”," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(C).
    10. Carbó-Valverde, Santiago & Cuadros-Solas, Pedro J. & Rodríguez-Fernández, Francisco & Sánchez-Béjar, José Juan, 2023. "Mobility restrictions and payment choices: The case of the Covid-19 pandemic," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Finance, Elsevier, vol. 40(C).
    11. Karim Gazzeh & Ismaila Rimi Abubakar & Emad Hammad, 2022. "Impacts of COVID-19 Pandemic on the Global Flows of People and Goods: Implications on the Dynamics of Urban Systems," Land, MDPI, vol. 11(3), pages 1-18, March.
    12. Hasan Bakhshi & Salvatore Novo & Giorgio Fazio, 2023. "The “Great Lockdown” and cultural consumption in the UK," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 47(4), pages 555-587, December.
    13. Lafuente, Cristina & Ruland, Astrid & Santaeulàlia-Llopis, Raül & Visschers, Ludo, 2023. "The effects of Covid-19 on couples’ job tenures: Mothers have it worse," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(C).
    14. Ashutosh Sarkar & Debadyuti Das & Arindam Debroy, 2024. "Panic Buying, Product Substitution and Channel-Shifting Behaviour During Pandemic," IIM Kozhikode Society & Management Review, , vol. 13(1), pages 25-43, January.

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    More about this item


    Covid-19; Lockdown; Mobility; Gender; Age;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E1 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • H0 - Public Economics - - General

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