People and their movement – new data on human mobility during the COVID-19 pandemic

28th April 2020

Since making the below dataset publicly available, BEST researchers Ho Fai Chan and Benno Torgler, in collaboration with Ahmed Skali (Deakin University), David Savage (University of Newcastle) and David Stadelmann (University of Beyreuth, Germany) have published a paper in the Centre for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA) 2020 Working Paper Series. The paper, titled “Risk Attitudes and Human Mobility During the COVID-19 Pandemic”, provides an empirical investigation of COVID-19, discussing how behavioural responses to pandemics are less shaped by actual mortality or hospitalization risks than they are by risk attitudes. Specifically, the paper explores human mobility patterns as a measure of behavioural responses during the COVID-19 pandemic and suggests that individuals with risk-averse attitudes are more likely to adjust their behavioural activity in response to the declaration of a pandemic even prior to most official government lockdowns.

To read the full working paper, click HERE.


8th April 2020

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected every corner of the globe, there is a critical need for understanding and mapping human movement in order to formulate appropriate scientific and policy responses.

BEST researchers have collaborated with colleagues at Deakin University to produce ready-to-use indexes of human mobility spanning 131 countries and territories and 830 sub-national regions from 16th February 2020 to 29th March 2020. The data is extracted from Google’s newly released mobility reports, which cover phone-tracking-based changes in mobility across several types of locations, including retail and recreation, grocery stores and pharmacies, parks, transit stations, workplaces, and private residences. BEST researchers Ho Fai Chan and Benno Torgler have collaborated with Ahmed Skali (Deakin University) to produce this data which they have made available to the scientific community and the broader public immediately in order to support research into the COVID-19 pandemic –

Below are graphical timelapses of the data on human mobility from an Australian state-level perspective and an international country-level perspective between 16th Feb 2020 to 29th March 2020.