Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Population Mobility under Mild Policies: Causal Evidence from Sweden

Sweden has adopted far less restrictive social distancing policies than most countries following the COVID-19 pandemic. This project uses data on all mobile phone users, from one major Swedish mobile phone network, to examine the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak under the Swedish mild recommendations and restrictions regime on individual mobility and if changes in geographical mobility vary over different socio-economic strata. Having access to mobile phone data for January and onwards (every five minutes) in both 2019 and 2020 enables us to estimate the causal effects of the COVID-19 outbreak by adopting a Difference-in-Differences research design. One of the main aims is to examine how behavior changes over time, overall and for groups with different socio-economic characteristics.


Matz Dahlberg
P-A Edin
John Östh
Marina Toger