Honors Theses and Capstones

Date of Award

Spring 2021

Project Type

Senior Honors Thesis

College or School




Program or Major

Paul Honors

Degree Name

Master of Business Administration

First Advisor

Loris Rubini


With the pandemic being a once in a lifetime event (hopefully), there are many areas of research with purpose that were impossible to research beforehand. This paper looks at how income inequality created a separation between the rich and the poor regarding work and residential movement during the pandemic in the United States. By taking work and residential movement data from the Google Mobility report, which measures movement during the pandemic as a percent change benchmarked against pre pandemic movement and correlating it to the logarithm of Gross domestic product per capita, the effects of income can be seen. By doing this for every county in the US, I am able to see how richer and poorer counties moved during the pandemic. The results show that a 1 percent increase in gross domestic product lead to a 21 percent decrease in work movement, and a 31 percent increase in residential movement. This insinuates that poor counties were more likely to work in person, and less likely to be home. Because of the pandemic, this means the poor were more likely to be at risk of COVID-19 exposure. This is likely due to the types of jobs held by the poor and a lack of accumulated wealth which would have allowed them to take time off. In conclusion our country was punishing the poor, by increasing the chances of getting covid, while the rich were able to stay safe.