This paper focuses on lower-income groups and their associated social distancing behavior changes under the stay-at-home orders. We find that the orders show differential impacts on economic groups. The policy effects on the social distancing indices of the lower-income group is much smaller than that of the upper-income group. One important driver of this difference from our finding is that the reduction in work-related trips of people in very low-income groups is not statistically significant. A large share of workers in the essential businesses defined by the stay-at-home orders are from the lower-income group.
Other Authors: Baihe Gu, Jiawei Song, Leon Clarke, Yi Wang, Xianchun Tan, Kaiwei Zhu, Yuhui Sheng, Hanbing Zhai, Lingsi Kong, Yonglong Cheng, Jon Sampedro, Stephanie Waldhoff