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On the Effects of COVID-19 Safer-At-Home Policies on Social Distancing, Car Crashes and Pollution

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  • Brodeur, Abel
  • Cook, Nikolai
  • Wright, Taylor

Abstract

This paper investigates the impacts of COVID-19 safer-at-home polices on collisions and pollution. We find that statewide safer-at-home policies lead to a 20% reduction in vehicular collisions and that the effect is entirely driven by less severe collisions. For pollution, we find particulate matter concentration levels approximately 1.5µg/m3 lower during the period of a safer-at-home order, representing a 25% reduction. We document a similar reduction in air pollution following the implementation of similar policies in Europe. We calculate that as of the end of June 2020, the benefits from avoided car collisions in the U.S. were approximately $16 billion while the benefits from reduced air pollution could be as high as $13 billion.

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  • Brodeur, Abel & Cook, Nikolai & Wright, Taylor, 2021. "On the Effects of COVID-19 Safer-At-Home Policies on Social Distancing, Car Crashes and Pollution," GLO Discussion Paper Series 774, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:774
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    Cited by:

    1. Hung-Hao Chang & Chad Meyerhoefer & Feng-An Yang, 2020. "COVID-19 Prevention and Air Pollution in the Absence of a Lockdown," NBER Working Papers 27604, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Steve Cicala, 2020. "Powering Work From Home," Working Papers 2020-147, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.
    3. Dang, Hai-Anh H. & Trinh, Trong-Anh, 2021. "Does the COVID-19 lockdown improve global air quality? New cross-national evidence on its unintended consequences," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 105(C).
    4. Brandily, Paul & Brébion, Clément & Briole, Simon & Khoury, Laura, 2021. "A poorly understood disease? The impact of COVID-19 on the income gradient in mortality over the course of the pandemic," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 140(C).
    5. 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).
    6. Dang, Hai-Anh H. & Trinh, Trong-Anh, 2020. "Does the COVID-19 Pandemic Improve Global Air Quality? New Cross-national Evidence on Its Unintended Consequences," GLO Discussion Paper Series 606, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    7. Ahn, Kunwon & Lee, Jun Yeong & Winters, John V., 2020. "Employment Opportunities and High School Completion during the COVID-19 Recession," ISU General Staff Papers 202010190700001114, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    8. Brandily, Paul & Brébion, Clément & Briole, Simon & Khoury, Laura, 2020. "A Poorly Understood Disease? The Unequal Distribution of Excess Mortality Due to COVID-19 Across French Municipalities," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 15/2020, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics.
    9. 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).
    10. Oguzoglu, Umut, 2020. "COVID-19 Lockdowns and Decline in Traffic Related Deaths and Injuries," IZA Discussion Papers 13278, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    11. Muley, Deepti & Ghanim, Mohammad Shareef & Mohammad, Anas & Kharbeche, Mohamed, 2021. "Quantifying the impact of COVID–19 preventive measures on traffic in the State of Qatar," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 45-59.
    12. 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).
    13. Paul Brandily & Clément Brébion & Simon Briole & Laura Khoury, 2021. "A Poorly Understood Disease? The Evolution of the Income Gradient in Excess Mortality Due to COVID-19 within Urban Areas," Working Papers halshs-03154551, HAL.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    COVID-19; safer-at-home; lockdowns; air pollution; car crashes;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • P48 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Political Economy; Legal Institutions; Property Rights; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Regional Studies
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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