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Impacts of social and economic factors on the transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in China

Authors
  • Qiu, Yun1
  • Chen, Xi2, 3
  • Shi, Wei1
  • 1 Jinan University,
  • 2 Yale School of Public Health,
  • 3 Yale University,
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Population Economics
Publisher
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Publication Date
May 09, 2020
Pages
1–46
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s00148-020-00778-2
PMID: 32395017
PMCID: PMC7210464
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

This study models local and cross-city transmissions of the novel coronavirus in China between January 19 and February 29, 2020. We examine the role of various socioeconomic mediating factors, including public health measures that encourage social distancing in local communities. Weather characteristics 2 weeks prior are used as instrumental variables for causal inference. Stringent quarantines, city lockdowns, and local public health measures imposed in late January significantly decreased the virus transmission rate. The virus spread was contained by the middle of February. Population outflow from the outbreak source region posed a higher risk to the destination regions than other factors, including geographic proximity and similarity in economic conditions. We quantify the effects of different public health measures in reducing the number of infections through counterfactual analyses. Over 1.4 million infections and 56,000 deaths may have been avoided as a result of the national and provincial public health measures imposed in late January in China.

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