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COVID-19 Pandemic Severity, Lockdown Regimes, and People’s Mobility: Evidence from 88 Countries

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Document pages: 17 pages

Abstract: This study empirically investigates the complex interplay between the severity of the coronavirus pandemic, mobility changes in retail and recreation, transit stations, workplaces, and residential areas, and lockdown measures in 88 countries of the word. To conduct the study, data on mobility patterns, socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of people, lockdown measures, and coronavirus pandemic were collected from multiple sources (e.g., Google, UNDP, UN, BBC, Oxford University, Worldometer). A Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) technique is used to investigate the direct and indirect effects of independent variables on dependent variables considering the intervening effects of mediators. Results show that lockdown measures have significant effects to encourage people to maintain social distancing. However, pandemic severity and socioeconomic and institutional factors have limited effects to sustain social distancing practice. The results also explain that socioeconomic and institutional factors of urbanity and modernity have significant effects on pandemic severity. Countries with a higher number of elderly people, employment in the service sector, and higher globalization trend are the worst victims of the coronavirus pandemic (e.g., USA, UK, Italy, and Spain). Social distancing measures are reasonably effective at tempering the severity of the pandemic.

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