A new GLO Discussion Paper suggests that the public health measures adopted in China have effectively contained the virus outbreak there around February 15.
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GLO Discussion Paper No. 494, 2020
Impacts of Social and Economic Factors on the Transmission of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in China
by Qiu, Yun & Chen, Xi & Shi, Wei
PDF of the GLO Discussion Paper
GLO Fellows Yun Qiu, Xi Chen & Wei Shi
- Yun Qiu & Wei Shi are Professors at the Institute for Economic and Social Research (IESR), Jinan University, China
- Xi Chen is a Professor at Yale University & President of the China Health Policy and Management Society
Author Abstract: This paper examines the role of various socioeconomic factors in mediating the local and cross-city transmissions of the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) in China. We implement a machine learning approach to select instrumental variables that strongly predict virus transmission among the rich exogenous weather characteristics. Our 2SLS estimates show that the stringent quarantine, massive lockdown and other public health measures imposed in late January significantly reduced the transmission rate of COVID-19. By early February, the virus spread had been contained. While many socioeconomic factors mediate the virus spread, a robust government response since late January played a determinant role in the containment of the virus. We also demonstrate that the actual population flow from the outbreak source poses a higher risk to the destination than other factors such as geographic proximity and similarity in economic conditions. The results have rich implications for ongoing global efforts in containment of COVID-19.
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