ABSTRACT

Black Lives Matter Protests, Social Distancing, and COVID-19   [open pdf - 0B]

From the Abstract: "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 [coronavirus disease 2019]. 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 nonprotesters' behavior was substantially affected by urban protests. This effect was not fully explained by the imposition of city curfews. Estimated effects were generally larger for persistent protests and those accompanied by media reports of violence. Furthermore, we find no evidence that urban protests reignited COVID-19 case growth during the more than three weeks following protest onset. We conclude that predictions of broad negative public health consequences of Black Lives Matter protests were far too narrowly conceived."

Report Number:
NBER Working Paper 27408; National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper 27408
Author:
Publisher:
Date:
2020-06
Series:
Copyright:
2020 Dhaval M. Dave, Andrew I. Friedson, Kyutaro Matsuzawa, Joseph J. Sabia, and Samuel Safford
Retrieved From:
National Bureau of Economic Research: https://www.nber.org/
Media Type:
application/pdf
URL:
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