NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Samuel Safford

Center for Health Economics & Policy Studies
San Diego, CA

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: San Diego State University

NBER Working Papers and Publications

June 2020Black Lives Matter Protests, Social Distancing, and COVID-19
with Dhaval M. Dave, Andrew I. Friedson, Kyutaro Matsuzawa, Joseph J. Sabia: w27408
Sparked by the killing of George Floyd in police custody, the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests have brought a new wave of attention to the issue of inequality within criminal justice. However, many public health officials have warned that mass protests could lead to a reduction in social distancing behavior, spurring a resurgence of COVID-19. This study uses newly collected data on protests in 315 of the largest U.S. cities to estimate the impacts of mass protests on social distancing and COVID-19 case growth. Event-study analyses provide strong evidence that net stay-at-home behavior increased following protest onset, consistent with the hypothesis that non-protesters’ behavior was substantially affected by urban protests. This effect was not fully explained by the imposition of city curf...
May 2020Were Urban Cowboys Enough to Control COVID-19? Local Shelter-in-Place Orders and Coronavirus Case Growth
with Dhaval M. Dave, Andrew I. Friedson, Kyutaro Matsuzawa, Joseph J. Sabia: w27229
One of the most common policy prescriptions to reduce the spread of COVID-19 has been to legally enforce social distancing through state or local shelter-in-place orders (SIPOs). This paper is the first to explore the comparative effectiveness of early county-level SIPOs versus later statewide mandates in curbing COVID-19 growth. We exploit the unique laboratory of Texas, a state in which the early adoption of local SIPOs by densely populated counties covered almost two-thirds of the state’s population prior to Texas’s adoption of a statewide SIPO on April 2, 2020. Using an event study framework, we document that countywide SIPO adoption is associated with a 14 percent increase in the percent of residents who remain at home full-time, a social distancing effect that is largest in urbanized...
 
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