Public Responses to COVID-19 Case Disclosure and Their Spatial Implications
30 Pages Posted: 7 Jan 2021
Date Written: December 15, 2020
During the COVID-19 pandemic, a few countries chose to disclose detailed location information of cases, along with mass testing and contact tracing, rather than a lockdown policy. In this paper, we study public responses to this information by using daily mobility and credit card transaction data in Seoul, South Korea. We first find that the disclosure of COVID-19 cases led to localized demand shock as both non-resident inflow and retail spending decreased significantly in neighborhoods with more cases. However, public responses to the disclosed information of cases do not appear to be homogenous across neighborhoods. Neighborhoods with higher employment density and land use diversity experienced a higher demand shock while mobility and retail performances of those with higher population density were less affected by COVID-19 incidences. Also, those with higher retail agglomeration were less resilient to the localized shock of COVID-19 case information potentially due to public concerns on the virus spread. Finally, we find a significant spatial spillover effect of disclosed COVID-19 information instead of spatial substitution. An increase in COVID-19 risks in both geographically and functionally adjacent areas reduced non-resident inflow and retail spending in the subject neighborhood. Results provide important spatial implications for localized economic resilience during and after the pandemic that differs from natural disasters and economic crisis.
Keywords: COVID-19; Location disclosure; Precautionary behavior; Spatial heterogeneity; Neighborhood spillover
JEL Classification: R21, R30
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation