Thursday, April 21 2022
11:00am - 12:30pm
D.M. Smith Room 303 and Online
For more information:

Grace Wyner

Communications Officer

School of Public Policy | Sam Nunn School of International Affairs

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How Does Broadband Connectivity Impact Employment During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

The School of Public Policy will host the final installment of its speaker series of the semester with Daniel Erian Armanios of the University of Oxford. Armanios will present on his paper, "How Does Broadband Connectivity Impact Employment During the COVID-19 Pandemic?"

The event will be held in-person in D.M. Smith 303 and virtually via Zoom.


While broadband access has become increasingly critical in the twenty-first century, the Covid-19 pandemic’s stay-at-home mandates accelerated the necessity of such access. In light of this development, this paper asks does a region’s differential access to and quality of broadband influence the short-term impacts on employment during the Covid-19 pandemic? Using a difference-in-difference approach that uses robust broadband measures that do not just include advertised speeds from Federal Communications Commission but also availability from the American Community Survey (ACS) and actual speed tests for Microsoft, Ookla, and M- Lab, we find that after Covid, counties with more broadband access, experience an increase in unemployment, rather than a decrease as expected. Furthermore, we test several possible mechanisms around why this may be occurring and find that the impact of broadband access is larger and more significant for unemployment in areas that are more urban, have higher income, have higher percentages of black and Hispanic populations, more essential industry workers, more high-tech industrial activity, and more service sector workers. Moreover, we find that unemployment is especially high for countries with particularly high access but contain a small concentrated set of tracts with low broadband access, which suggests that these issues may be most pernicious in areas where there is a social expectation that one has broadband, which makes lack of broadband even more glaring in such contexts.

About the Speaker

Daniel Erian Armanios is the BT Professor of Major Programme Management at the Saïd Business School and a professorial fellow of St. Anne’s College at the University of Oxford. He was also a distinguished visiting professor of leadership at Tsinghua University’s Schwarzman College and a distinguished professor at LUISS (Italy). He was formerly an associate professor in the Department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University.

Armanios holds Bachelor’s degrees from the University of Pittsburgh in mechanical engineering (B.S.) and political science (B.A), where he was a Goldwater and Truman Scholar. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Oxford in management research and in water science, policy and management (MSc), where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University in management science and engineering, where he was a National Science Foundation (NSF) and Stanford Benchmark Graduate Research Fellow.