The Impact of Inter-City Traffic Restriction on COVID-19 Transmission from Spatial Econometric Perspective
The aim of this paper is to conduct a spatial correlation study of virus transmission in the Hubei province, China. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases released by the National Health and Construction Commission, the traffic flow data provided by Baidu migration, and the current situation of Wuhan intercity traffic were collected. The Moran’s I test shows that there is a positive spatial correlation between the 17 cities in the Hubei province. The result of Moran’s I test also shows that four different policies to restrict inter-city traffic can be issued for the four types of cities. The ordinary least squares regression, spatial lag model, spatial error model, and spatial lag error model were built. Based on the analysis of the spatial lag error model, whose goodness of fit is the highest among the four models, it can be concluded that the speed of COVID-19 spread within a certain region is not only related to the current infection itself but also associated with the scale of the infection in the surrounding area. Thus, the spill-over effect of the COVID-19 is also presented. This paper bridges inter-city traffic and spatial economics, provides a theoretical contribution, and verifies the necessity of a lockdown from an empirical point of view.
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