Publication Date


Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Master of Science in Economics



Major Advisor

Jayash Paudel, Ph.D.


Kelly Chen, Ph.D.


Michail Fragkias, Ph.D.


This study provides evidence of a link between Shelter in Place (SIP) policy response during the pandemic and demonstration events. Through the combination of daily county-level government policy response to SIP implementation to limit the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States (US) and cell phone mobility data, this research studied how demonstrations and violence are affected following shutdown policies. A dynamic framework is visible due to the staggered effect of policies implementation across the US. At the national level, the results showed reduced participation in demonstration events at the national level, suggesting that increasing social costs may limit public demonstrations. However, regional results indicate dependence on population density (urban vs. rural) or location (west vs. east coast), along with the benefits of pursuing social well-being, outweigh the additional costs SIP police bring. The research will conclude with a discussion on potential reasons behind this heterogeneity and why it is essential to understand the repercussions of blanketed US policies on individual behavior and social well-being. The research of this paper contributes to the study of pandemic modeling on demonstrations in the US. First, it provides a theoretical framework using multiple economic modeling approaches to study the relationship between SIP policies and demonstrations. Second, this county/day level data is one of the first studies to look at the individual behavior effects in the US. Third, a fuller view of the region is observed by using a combination of statistical analyses, qualitative assessments, and geographical clustering.


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Economics Commons