Discussion Paper

Understanding the Racial and Income Gap in COVID-19: Public Transportation and Home Crowding

Abstract: This is the second post in a series that aims to understand the gap in COVID-19 intensity by race and income. In our first post, we looked at how comorbidities, uninsurance rates, and health resources may help to explain the race and income gap observed in COVID-19 intensity. We found that a quarter of the income gap and more than a third of the racial gap in case rates are explained by health status and system factors. In this post, we look at two factors related to indoor density—namely public transportation use and home crowding. Here, we will aim to understand whether these two factors affect overall COVID-19 intensity, whether the income and racial gaps of COVID-19 can be further explained when we additionally include these factors, and whether and to what extent these factors independently account for income and racial gaps in COVID-19 intensity (without controlling for the factors considered in the other posts in this series).

Keywords: COVID-19; race; income; inequality; public transit; home crowding;

JEL Classification: I14; J1; R10; R31;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Part of Series: Liberty Street Economics

Publication Date: 2021-01-12

Number: 20210112b

Note: Heterogeneity Series V: The Racial and Income Gap in COVID-19