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Misinformation during a Pandemic

Leonardo Bursztyn, Akaash Rao, Christopher Roth and David Yanagizawa-Drott ()
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Akaash Rao: Harvard University

The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) from University of Warwick, Department of Economics

Abstract: We study the effects of COVID-19 coverage early in the pandemic by the two most popular cable news shows in the US, both on Fox News, on health outcomes. We document large differences in content between the shows and in cautious behavior among viewers. Through both a selection-on-observablesstrategy and a novel instrumental variable approach, we find that areas with greater exposure to the show downplaying the threat of COVID-19 experienced a greater number of cases and deaths. We assess magnitudes through an epidemiological model highlighting the role of externalities and provide evidence that misinformation is a key underlying mechanism.

Keywords: Media; Health; Coronavirus JEL codes: D1; I31; Z13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hea
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https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/w ... werp_1274_-_roth.pdf

Related works:
Working Paper: Misinformation During a Pandemic (2020) Downloads
Working Paper: Misinformation During a Pandemic (2020) Downloads
Working Paper: Misinformation During a Pandemic (2020) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:wrk:warwec:1274

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