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JUE insight: Migration, transportation infrastructure, and the spatial transmission of COVID-19 in China

Bingjing Li and Lin Ma ()

Journal of Urban Economics, 2022, vol. 127, issue C

Abstract: This paper evaluates the impacts of migration flows and transportation infrastructure on the spatial transmission of COVID-19 in China. Prefectures with larger bilateral migration flows and shorter travel distances with Hubei, the epicenter of the outbreak, experienced a wider spread of COVID-19. In addition, richer prefectures with higher incomes were better able to contain the virus at the early stages of community transmission. Using a spatial general equilibrium model, we show that around 28% of the infections outside Hubei province can be explained by the rapid development in transportation infrastructure and the liberalization of migration restrictions in the recent decade.

Keywords: COVID-19; Spatial transmission; Migration; Transportation infrastructure; General equilibrium spatial model (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I10 I15 O18 R10 R12 R13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jue.2021.103351

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