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Compulsory face mask policies do not affect community mobility in Germany

Author

Listed:
  • Roxanne Kovacs

    (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)

  • Maurice Dunaiski

    (London School of Economics and Political Science)

  • Janne Tukiainen

    (University of Turku)

Abstract

There is currently a heated debate about making face masks compulsory in public spaces to contain COVID-19. A key concern is that such policies could lead to risk compensating behaviour and thereby undermine efforts to maintain social distancing and reduce mobility. We provide first evidence on the impact of compulsory face mask policies on community mobility. We exploit the staggered implementation of policies by German states and measure community mobility using geo-located smartphone data. We find no evidence suggesting that compulsory masking policies affect community mobility in Germany. We can rule out even small increases larger than 0.03 standard deviations.

Suggested Citation

  • Roxanne Kovacs & Maurice Dunaiski & Janne Tukiainen, 2020. "Compulsory face mask policies do not affect community mobility in Germany," Discussion Papers 136, Aboa Centre for Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:tkk:dpaper:dp136
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    Cited by:

    1. Seres, Gyula & Balleyer, Anna & Cerutti, Nicola & Friedrichsen, Jana & Süer, Müge, 2020. "Face mask use and physical distancing before and after mandatory masking: Evidence from public waiting lines," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economics of Change SP II 2020-305, WZB Berlin Social Science Center.
    2. Benedikt Janzen & Doina Radulescu, 0. "Electricity Use as a Real-Time Indicator of the Economic Burden of the COVID-19-Related Lockdown: Evidence from Switzerland," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 66(4), pages 303-321.
    3. Chernozhukov, Victor & Kasahara, Hiroyuki & Schrimpf, Paul, 2021. "Causal impact of masks, policies, behavior on early covid-19 pandemic in the U.S," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 220(1), pages 23-62.
    4. Seres, Gyula & Balleyer, Anna & Cerutti, Nicola & Friedrichsen, Jana & Süer, Müge, 2021. "Face mask use and physical distancing before and after mandatory masking: No evidence on risk compensation in public waiting lines," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 192(C), pages 765-781.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    COVID-19; face masks; social distancing; community mobility;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D9 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics
    • H12 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Crisis Management
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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