In Computational economics
This paper seeks to identify the causal impact of educational human capital on social distancing behavior at workplace in Turkey using district-level data for the period of April 2020 - February 2021. We adopt a unified causal framework, predicated on domain knowledge, theory-justified constraints anda data-driven causal structure discovery using causal graphs. We answer our causal query by employing machine learning prediction algorithms; instrumental variables in the presence of latent confounding and Heckman's model in the presence of selection bias. Results show that educated regions are able to distance-work and educational human capital is a key factor in reducing workplace mobility, possibly through its impact on employment. This pattern leads to higher workplace mobility for less educated regions and translates into higher Covid-19 infection rates. The future of the pandemic lies in less educated segments of developing countries and calls for public health action to decrease its unequal and pervasive impact.
Bilgel Fırat, Karahasan Burhan Can
Causal structure discovery, Do-calculus, Instrumental variables, Machine learning, Sample selection, Workplace mobility