Socio-Economic Factors Influencing COVID-19 Spread in Japan; Virus Importation and Domestic Transmission during the First Two Waves
34 Pages Posted: 1 Jul 2020 Last revised: 28 Jul 2020
Date Written: July 7, 2020
The failure to prevent the international diffusion of the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 results in a major exogenous shock. Social scientists should not limit themselves to estimating the economic impact and proposing mitigating measures. It is also critical to better assess the social and economic profiles of the populations the most at risk of acting as vectors of virus importation or the most exposed to domestic transmission. The low prevalence observed in Japan in the first half of 2020, due to limited local transmission, enables a quantitative investigation of socio-economic factors influencing the spread using municipality-level and prefecture-level data. Space congestion, international mobility, and occupational exposure are identified as expected, along with a strong income effect. Policy implications that appear also relevant for other countries are considered.
Keywords: Farr effect, international travel, occupational risk, income, health expenditures, social capital, municipality level data, prefecture level data, count data, Negative Binomial regression, Kaldor-Hicks efficiency
JEL Classification: I10, I12, I14, R10, Z13
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