Businesses in high-income zip codes often saw sharper visit reductions during the COVID-19 pandemic

Aditya Kulkarni, Min Kim, Joydeep Bhattacharya, Jayanta Bhattacharya

As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded, the mobility patterns of people worldwide changed drastically. While travel time, costs, and trip convenience have always influenced mobility, the risk of infection and policy actions such as lockdowns and stay-at-home orders emerged as new factors to consider in the location-visitation calculus. We use SafeGraph mobility data from Minnesota, USA, to demonstrate that businesses (especially those requiring extended indoor visits) located in affluent zip codes witnessed sharper reductions in visits (relative to pre-pandemic times) outside of the lockdown periods than their poorer counterparts. To the extent visits translate into sales, we contend that post-pandemic recovery efforts should prioritize relief funding, keeping the losses relating to diminished visits in mind.

Knowledge Graph

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