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Anti-pandemic restrictions, uncertainty and sentiment in seven countries

Charemza, Wojciech; Makarova, Svetlana; Rybiński, Krzysztof; (2022) Anti-pandemic restrictions, uncertainty and sentiment in seven countries. Economic Change and Restructuring 10.1007/s10644-022-09447-8. (In press). Green open access

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We investigate how the stringency of government anti-pandemic policy measures might affect economic policy uncertainty in countries with different degrees of press freedom, various press reporting styles and writing conventions. We apply a text-based measure of uncertainty using data from over 400,000 press articles from Belarus, Kazakhstan, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, the UK and the USA published before the wide-scale vaccination programmes were introduced. The measure accounts for pandemic-related words and negative sentiment scores weight the selected articles. We then tested the dynamic panel data model where the relative changes in these measures were explained by levels and changes in the stringency measures. We have found that introducing and then maintaining unchanged for a relatively long time a constant level of anti-pandemic stringency measures reduce uncertainty. In contrast, a change in such a level has the opposite effect. This result is robust across the countries, despite their differences in political systems, press control and freedom of speech.

Type: Article
Title: Anti-pandemic restrictions, uncertainty and sentiment in seven countries
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s10644-022-09447-8
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10644-022-09447-8
Language: English
Additional information: Open Access: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licen ses/by/4.0/.
Keywords: Anti-pandemic government policy, Newspaper-based uncertainty measure, Country effects, Machine learning
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > SSEES
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10157224
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