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Act Early to Prevent Infections and Save Lives: Causal Impact of Diagnostic Efficiency on the COVID-19 Pandemic

Simiao Chen, Zhangfeng Jin (), Sebastian Vollmer, Till Bärnighausen and David E. Bloom

No 931, GLO Discussion Paper Series from Global Labor Organization (GLO)

Abstract: This paper examines the causal impact of diagnostic efficiency on the COVID-19 pandemic in China. Using an instrumental variable approach, we show that a 1-day decrease in the time taken to confirm the first case in a city publicly led to 9.4% and 12.7% reductions in COVID-19 prevalence and mortality over the subsequent six months, respectively. The impact was larger for cities that are farther from the COVID-19 epicenter, are exposed to less migration, have more responsive public health systems, and have higher-capacity utilization of health systems. Social distancing and a less burdened health system are likely underlying mechanisms.

Keywords: Diagnostic Efficiency; Information Disclosure; Social Distancing; COVID-19; China (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D83 H75 I12 I18 J61 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cna, nep-hea and nep-isf
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:zbw:glodps:931

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