Research / BFI Working PaperJan 29, 2021

Measuring Movement and Social Contact with Smartphone Data: A Real-time Application to COVID-19

Victor Couture, Jonathan Dingel, Allison Green, Jessie Handbury, Kevin R. Williams

Tracking human activity in real time and at fine spatial scale is particularly valuable during episodes such as the COVID-19 pandemic. In this paper, we discuss the suitability of smartphone data for quantifying movement and social contact. These data cover broad sections of theUS population and exhibit pre-pandemic patterns similar to conventional survey data. We develop and make publicly available a location exposure index that summarizes county-to-county movements and a device exposure index that quantifies social contact within venues. We also investigate the reliability of smartphone movement data during the pandemic.

More Research From These Scholars

BFI Working Paper Oct 19, 2021

Telemigration and Development: On the Offshorability of Teleworkable Jobs

Richard Baldwin, Jonathan Dingel
Topics:  Employment & Wages, COVID-19
BFI Working Paper Dec 1, 2018

Spatial Correlation, Trade, and Inequality: Evidence from the Global Climate

Jonathan Dingel, Solomon Hsiang, Kyle C. Meng
Topics:  Uncategorized
BFI Working Paper Jan 11, 2021

Spatial Economics for Granular Settings

Jonathan Dingel, Felix Tintelnot
Topics:  Uncategorized