Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/224016
Authors: 
Tian, Yuan
Caballero, Maria Esther
Kovak, Brian K.
Year of Publication: 
2020
Series/Report no.: 
IZA Discussion Papers No. 13574
Abstract: 
We document the transmission of social distancing practices from the United States to Mexico along migrant networks during the early 2020 Covid-19 pandemic. Using data on pre-existing migrant connections between Mexican and U.S. locations and mobile-phone tracking data revealing social distancing behavior, we find larger declines in mobility in Mexican regions whose emigrants live in U.S. locations with stronger social distancing practices. We rule out confounding pre-trends and use a variety of controls and an instrumental variables strategy based on U.S. stay-at-home orders to rule out the potential influence of disease transmission and migrant sorting between similar locations. Given this evidence, we conclude that our findings represent the effect of information transmission between Mexican migrants living in the U.S. and residents of their home locations in Mexico. Our results demonstrate the importance of personal connections when policymakers seek to change fundamental social behaviors.
Subjects: 
social learning
migration
Mexico-U.S.
network
COVID-19
JEL: 
J61
F22
I12
D83
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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