Exploring the Dynamic Relationship between Mobility and the Spread of COVID-19, and the Role of Vaccines

Author Name INOUE Tomoo (Seikei University) / OKIMOTO Tatsuyoshi (Visiting Fellow, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. February 2022 22-E-011
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The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak has caused great turmoil around the world and is yet to be contained. Mitigating the number of people infected by COVID-19 remains a major policy goal for several countries. The purpose of this study is to analyze the dynamic relationship between mobility and the rate of change in the number of new infections in Japan. Another goal is to evaluate the effects of various policies, such as human mobility control and vaccination, as well as the impact of climate factors on the number of infections. The analysis reveals a strong positive relationship between the growth rate of the number of infections and mobility. Our results also indicate that the declaration of the state emergency effectively controlled the infection, although the effect seems to be weaker with additional declarations of a state of emergency. On the effect of vaccination, the results find little effect of vaccination on reducing the spread of infection through a reduction in susceptible population, but it has significantly weakened the mobility-spread relationship, suggesting that it may be useful in implementing economic revitalization policies.

This is the English version of the Japanese Discussion Paper (22-J-002) with some additional information and changes.

Forthcoming: Inoue, Tomoo, and Tatsuyoshi Okimoto. "Exploring the dynamic relationship between mobility and the spread of COVID-19, and the role of vaccines," Applied Economics.