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Unexpected shocks to movement and job search: evidence from COVID-19 policies in Singapore using Google data

Shen, Lucas (2020): Unexpected shocks to movement and job search: evidence from COVID-19 policies in Singapore using Google data.

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Abstract

This paper uses Google data in Singapore to study the impact of COVID-19 policies. First, I find differences in the efficacy of the two movement controls, and that their announcements led to same-day increases in foot traffic. Second, I find evidence that online job search either stayed the same or has fallen. With a larger pool of potential candidates, this implies a drop in average search per worker. Finally, the data suggests that movement restrictions affected job search intensity, the implication being that while stay-home mandates are to flatten the curve, it potentially creates another shock to labour supply which is more hidden than the demand side.

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