This paper evaluates the impact of COVID-19 media coverage in mitigating its spread in China during the early phase of the pandemic. We construct a provincial-level dataset on COVID-19 and link it with population mobility data, among other control variables, to estimate how media coverage mitigates the spread of COVID-19. Seemingly unrelated regressions are used to examine the simultaneous impact of media coverage on the number of new cases and close contacts. The results show that the effect of media coverage on COVID-19 transmission in China had an inverse-U curvature and was mediated by within- and across-province population mobility. Our simulation results indicate that COVID-19 media coverage in China was associated with a potential reduction of 394,000 cases and 1.4 million close contacts during January 19 and February 29, 2020. Our results also provide strong support for the use of contact tracing in mitigating COVID-19 transmission.
- Contact tracing
- Media coverage
- Population mobility
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Business and International Management
- Applied Psychology
- Management of Technology and Innovation