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COVID-19 Outbreak, Social Response, and Early Economic Effects: A Global VAR Analysis of Cross-Country Interdependencies

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  • Milani, Fabio

Abstract

This paper studies the social and economic responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in a large sample of countries. I stress, in particular, the importance of countries' interconnections to un- derstand the spread of the virus. I estimate a Global VAR model and exploit a dataset on existing social connections across country borders. I show that social networks help explain not only the spread of the disease, but also cross-country spillovers in perceptions about coronavirus risk and in social distancing behavior. In the early phases of the pandemic, perceptions of coronavirus risk in most countries are affected by pandemic shocks originating in Italy. Later, the U.S., Spain, and the U.K. play sizable roles. Social distancing responses to domestic and global health shocks are heterogeneous; however, they almost always exhibit delays and sluggish adjustments. Unemploy- ment responses vary widely across countries. Unemployment is particularly responsive to health shocks in the U.S. and Spain, while unemployment uctuations are attenuated almost everywhere else.

Suggested Citation

  • Milani, Fabio, 2020. "COVID-19 Outbreak, Social Response, and Early Economic Effects: A Global VAR Analysis of Cross-Country Interdependencies," GLO Discussion Paper Series 626, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:626
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    COVID-19 Pandemic; Health Shocks; Global VAR; Social Networks; Social Distancing; Cross-Country Spillovers; Unemployment Indicators; Google Trends;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • F69 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Other
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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