Purpose – In responding to COVID-19, governments around the world have imposed various restrictions with different levels of success. One important aspect of pandemic control is the willingness of individuals to stay home when possible. The purpose of this paper is to study the impact of government restrictions on human mobility in the United States
Methodology/approach – Structural equation modelling is used to explore the issue. First, we use path regression analysis and factor analysis to identify the main factors that influence mobility. Second, we use total effect decomposition to investigate the deeper relationship between government restrictions and human mobility.
Finding – Two important findings are revealed First, the economic environment is the fundamental and direct factor affecting human mobility. There is a significant negative relationship between economic environment and human mobility, meaning that where economic conditions are bad mobility is greater. Second, government restrictions and the scale of the pandemic do not directly affect human mobility. Government restriction indirectly influences human mobility through economic environment as a mediating variable. Therefore, the economic environment has a significant mediating effect.
Originality/value – Existing literature lacks research on the mediating effect between government restrictions and human mobility. This paper provides new empirical evidence for the research topic by studying the mediating effect between government restrictions and human mobility. This provides policymakers with a more detailed picture of the processes through which policies operate.