Title: Socio-economic and demographic factors influencing the spatial spread of COVID-19 in the USA

Authors: Christopher F. Baum; Miguel Henry

Addresses: Department of Economics and School of Social Work, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA, USA; German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin), Berlin, Germany ' Greylock McKinnon Associates, 75 Park Plaza, 4th Floor, Boston, MA 02116, USA

Abstract: As the COVID-19 pandemic progressed in the USA, 'hotspots' shifted geographically over time to suburban and rural counties showing a high prevalence of the disease. We analyse population-adjusted confirmed case rates based on daily US county-level variations in COVID-19 confirmed case counts during the first several months of the pandemic (1 March 2020 through 23 May 2020) to evaluate the spatial dependence between neighbouring counties and quantify the overall spatial effect of socio-economic and demographic factors on the prevalence of COVID-19. We indeed find strong evidence of county-level socio-economic and demographic factors influencing the spatial spread such as sex, race, ethnicity, population density, pollution, health conditions, and income. The relevance of the spatial factors suggests that neighbouring counties have a significant and positive effect on the prevalence of COVID-19.

Keywords: COVID-19; coronavirus; spatial spillovers; socio-economic factors; demographics; spatial econometrics.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCEE.2022.126313

International Journal of Computational Economics and Econometrics, 2022 Vol.12 No.4, pp.366 - 380

Received: 30 Jan 2021
Accepted: 26 May 2021

Published online: 20 Oct 2022 *

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