Ethnolinguistic diversity and the spread of communicable diseases: a cross-country study on the COVID-19 pandemic

Cong Wang, Jimin Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Motivated by the varying effectiveness of government intervention policies to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, and the potential positive relationship between ethnolinguistic diversity and social distance, this paper aims to provide empirical evidence on the relationship between ethnolinguistic diversity and the spread of COVID-19. In particular, using global data from 113 developed and developing countries during the early stages of the pandemic (from 31 December 2019 to 8 July 2020), we have found a significant negative effect of ethnolinguistic diversity on the spread of the virus. The result is robust to alternative measures of ethnolinguistic diversity and estimator that addresses endogeneity. Moreover, we also show that the impact of ethnolinguistic diversity on the spread of COVID-19 differs in economies characterized by different levels of democracy, policy stringency on addressing COVID-19 and health expenditure.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberdaac082
Number of pages12
JournalHealth Promotion International
Volume37
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Aug 2022

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