We link the county-level rollout of stay-at-home orders during the COVID-19 pandemic to anonymized cell phone records and consumer spending data. We document three patterns. First, stay-at-home orders caused people to stay home: county-level measures of mobility declined 6% to 7% within two days of when the stay-at-home order went into effect. Second, stay-at-home orders caused large reductions in spending in sectors associated with mobility: small businesses and large retail chains. Third, we estimate fairly uniform responses to stay-at-home orders across the country; effects do not vary by county-level income, political leanings, or urban/rural status.

Supplementary data

You do not currently have access to this content.