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Mobility restrictions and alcohol use during lockdown: "a still and dry pandemic for the many"?

Celidoni, Martina, Costa-Font, Joan ORCID: 0000-0001-7174-7919 and Salmasi, Luca (2023) Mobility restrictions and alcohol use during lockdown: "a still and dry pandemic for the many"? Economics and Human Biology, 50. ISSN 1570-677X

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.ehb.2023.101268

Abstract

Unexpected mobility disruptions during lockdown during the first wave of COVID-19 became ’tipping points’ with the potential to alter pre-pandemic routines sensitive to socialisation. This paper investigates the impact of lockdown exposure on alcohol consumption. We document two findings using information from the Google Mobility Report and longitudinal data from the Understanding Society survey (UKHLS) in the United Kingdom. First, we find a sharp reduction in both actual mobility and alcohol use (consistent with a ”still and dry pandemic for the many” hypothesis). However, we document an increase in alcohol use among heavy drinkers, implying a split behavioural response to COVID-19 mobility restrictions based on alcohol use prior to the pandemic. Second, using the predictions of the prevalence-response elasticity theory, we find that the pandemic's reduction in social contacts is responsible for a 2.8 percentage point reduction in drinking among men.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/economics-an...
Additional Information: © 2023 Elsevier B.V.
Divisions: Health Policy
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
JEL classification: I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I3 - Welfare and Poverty > I30 - General
I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I1 - Health > I18 - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2023 10:12
Last Modified: 07 Jul 2024 20:03
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/119467

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