Name File Type Size Last Modified application/zip 1 GB 07/12/2021 05:20:AM

Project Citation: 

Wright, Austin L., Kecht, Valentin , Brzezinski, Adam, and Van Dijcke, David. Science Skepticism Reduces Compliance with COVID-19 Shelter-in-Place Policies. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2021-07-12.

Project Description

Summary:  View help for Summary Physical distancing reduces transmission risks and slows the spread of COVID-19. Yet compliance with shelter-in-place policies issued by local and regional governments in the United States is uneven and may be influenced by science skepticism and attitudes towards topics of scientific consensus. Using county-day measures of physical distancing derived from cellphone location data, we demonstrate that the proportion of people who stay at home after shelter-in-place  policies go into effect is significantly lower in counties with a high concentration of science skeptics. These results are robust to controlling for other potential drivers of differential physical distancing, such as political partisanship, income, education and COVID severity. Our findings suggest public health interventions that take local attitudes toward science into account in their messaging may be more effective.

Scope of Project

Subject Terms:  View help for Subject Terms economics; political economy; political science; social sciences; science
Geographic Coverage:  View help for Geographic Coverage United States of America
Time Period(s):  View help for Time Period(s) 3/1/2020 – 4/19/2020
Collection Date(s):  View help for Collection Date(s) 5/1/2020 – 7/1/2020
Universe:  View help for Universe Mobile devices of individuals across the United States, as collected by Safegraph, a data company that aggregates anonymized location data from numerous
Data Type(s):  View help for Data Type(s) aggregate data; census/enumeration data; geographic information system (GIS) data; program source code; survey data


Data Source:  View help for Data Source SafeGraph (, various government sources, additional open data.
Weights:  View help for Weights County population.
Unit(s) of Observation:  View help for Unit(s) of Observation United States county
Geographic Unit:  View help for Geographic Unit United States county

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