Researcher ORCID Identifier


Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Yong Kim

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This paper examines the complex relationship between Covid-19 and human mobility in all 50 states of the USA during the 2020 year in an effort to determine the nature of causality. We use geo-locational data from Google to create a mobility index to analyse against death rates due to the Coronavirus. The datasets distinguish between each state and controls for population differences in the form of daily data. Including a third variable as an instrumental variable (IV) allows us to fix the endogeneity problem that our two main variables, Covid-19 death rates and household mobility, have on each other. Stay at home orders act as our instrumental variable and a proxy for residential mobility in our regressions, giving us predictive data. While results differ from state to state, the IV estimation proves the direction of causality to be from household mobility on Covid-19 death rates. Additionally, comparisons between states reveal the differences in community responses to federal policies and how effective they are in combating the pandemic during 2020. Finally, the paper concludes that for future model specification it is important to account for external factors that contribute to the variation in our model.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.