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The Effect of COVID-19 Lockdown on Mobility and Traffic Accidents: Evidence from Louisiana

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  • Barnes, Stephen R.
  • Beland, Louis-Philippe
  • Huh, Jason
  • Kim, Dongwoo

Abstract

We use a regression discontinuity design to study the effect of the COVID-19 lockdown on mobility and traffic accidents. Based on data from Google Community Mobility reports and Uniform Traffic Crash Report from the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Develop- ment (LaDOTD), we find that the stay-at-home order led to a large decrease in traffic accidents (-47 percent). In particular, we find a large decrease in accidents involving injury (-46 percent), distracted drivers (-43 percent), and ambulances (-41 percent). We also find evidence of a change in the composition of accidents, with more incidents involving individuals aged 25 to 64, male, and nonwhite drivers. Interestingly, we find no impact on ambulance response time, despite lower traffic. Finally, we document a large decrease in mobility in Louisiana. Our results have important policy implications for traffic management policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Barnes, Stephen R. & Beland, Louis-Philippe & Huh, Jason & Kim, Dongwoo, 2020. "The Effect of COVID-19 Lockdown on Mobility and Traffic Accidents: Evidence from Louisiana," GLO Discussion Paper Series 616, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:616
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Louis-Philippe Beland & Abel Brodeur & Taylor Wright, 2020. "COVID-19, Stay-at-Home Orders and Employment: Evidence from CPS Data," Carleton Economic Papers 20-04, Carleton University, Department of Economics, revised 19 May 2020.
    2. Brodeur, Abel & Clark, Andrew E. & Fleche, Sarah & Powdthavee, Nattavudh, 2021. "COVID-19, lockdowns and well-being: Evidence from Google Trends," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 193(C).
    3. Justin Gallagher & Paul J. Fisher, 2020. "Criminal Deterrence When There Are Offsetting Risks: Traffic Cameras, Vehicular Accidents, and Public Safety," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 202-237, August.
    4. Anderson, Michael L. & Lu, Fangwen & Zhang, Yiran & Yang, Jun & Qin, Ping, 2016. "Superstitions, street traffic, and subjective well-being," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 142(C), pages 1-10.
    5. Brodeur, Abel & Cook, Nikolai & Wright, Taylor, 2021. "On the effects of COVID-19 safer-at-home policies on social distancing, car crashes and pollution," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 106(C).
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    Cited by:

    1. Mauro Caselli & Andrea Fracasso & Sergio Scicchitano, 2020. "From the lockdown to the new normal: An analysis of the limitations to individual mobility in Italy following the Covid-19 crisis," Discussion Paper series in Regional Science & Economic Geography 2020-07, Gran Sasso Science Institute, Social Sciences, revised Oct 2020.
    2. Camino-Mogro, Segundo, 2020. "Turbulence in startups: Effect of COVID-19 lockdown on creation of new firms and its capital," MPRA Paper 104502, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Camino-Mogro, Segundo & Armijos, Mary, 2020. "The effects of COVID-19 lockdown on Foreign Direct Investment: evidence from Ecuadorian firms," MPRA Paper 104821, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Dang, Hai-Anh & Trinh, Trong-Anh, 2020. "The Beneficial Impacts of COVID-19 Lockdowns on Air Pollution: Evidence from Vietnam," IZA Discussion Papers 13651, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    COVID-19; Lockdown; Accidents; Traffic Management; Regression Discontinuity;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • R20 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - General
    • R41 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Travel Time; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise
    • R42 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government and Private Investment Analysis; Road Maintenance; Transportation Planning
    • R48 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government Pricing and Policy
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities

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