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Geographic and Socio-economic Factors Affecting the Spread of COVID-19: The Case of the Philippines

  • Journal of Regional Studies and Development
  • Abbr : JRSD
  • 2022, 31(1), pp.21-43
  • DOI : 10.22739/ipaid.2022.31.1.21
  • Publisher : Institute for Poverty Alleviation and International Development: IPAID
  • Research Area : Social Science > Area Studies > Regional Studies in general > Comparative / Statistical Regional Studies
  • Received : January 30, 2022
  • Accepted : March 23, 2022
  • Published : April 30, 2022

Gabales Reggie Marie Soberano 1 Sung Il Bae 2 Yoo Tae Hwan 2

1Department of Public Works, The Philippines
2경희대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

For decades, many researchers have studied the relationship between population density and infectious diseases. This study conducted an empirical investigation of the linkages between population density, urban environmental determinants, and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in the Philippines to understand this relationship. To assess the relationship between these variables, a panel analysis with a fixed effect model was conducted for 17 regions from February 2020 to March 2021. The results show that regions with higher population density are prone to be associated with more COVID-19 outbreaks. In addition, urban environment determinants such as socio-economic environment, built environment, and governance are associated with COVID-19 infection rates. Moreover, of particular interest is the finding of a negative and significant coefficient of the quadratic term of population density, thus supporting the Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) Hypothesis. This implies that when a certain level of population density is reached, the infection rate tends to decline and does not increase. However, the ongoing situation of COVID-19 suggests that the EKC Hypothesis might be a short term phenomenon.

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