The COVID 19 Pandemic, Daily Mobility, and Household Welfare: Evidence From Tajikistan
The COVID-19 pandemic has posed severe restrictions on daily mobility for people globally. We use a monthly household panel dataset that covers a period both before and after the outbreak began to examine the impact of COVID-19 on daily mobility and household welfare in Tajikistan. The feature of our dataset is that it contains information on daily mobility for those traveling by vehicle along with their travel purposes. We provide several new findings. First, the impact of the pandemic on daily mobility was limited in Tajikistan, in contrast with the evidence from other countries. The pandemic discouraged motorized travel for family-related purposes in all income groups while keeping other vehicle travel intact for reasons such as work and shopping under the country’s lenient travel restrictions. Second, the effects of concerns about the pandemic were not uniform across all vehicle travel when different purposes are taken into account. People who were very concerned about the pandemic were more likely to refrain from motorized travel for family-related purposes. Third, refraining from travel for family purposes exacerbated food insecurity, implying that the safety net provided by family members and relatives was hampered by the limited ability to travel during the pandemic.