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Article

Re-Thinking the Role of Government Information Intervention in the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Agent-Based Modeling Analysis

1
Dong Fureng Economic and Social Development School, Wuhan University, Beijing 100010, China
2
National School of Development, Southeast University, Nanjing 210000, China
3
School of Finance, Zhejiang University of Finance and Economics, Hangzhou 310018, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(1), 147; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18010147
Received: 3 November 2020 / Revised: 22 December 2020 / Accepted: 23 December 2020 / Published: 28 December 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic imposes new challenges on the capability of governments in intervening with the information dissemination and reducing the risk of infection outbreak. To reveal the complexity behind government intervention decision, we build a bi-layer network diffusion model for the information-disease dynamics that were intervened in and conduct a full space simulation to illustrate the trade-off faced by governments between information disclosing and blocking. The simulation results show that governments prioritize the accuracy of disclosed information over the disclosing speed when there is a high-level medical recognition of the virus and a high public health awareness, while, for the opposite situation, more strict information blocking is preferred. Furthermore, an unaccountable government tends to delay disclosing, a risk-averse government prefers a total blocking, and a low government credibility will discount the effect of information disclosing and aggravate the situation. These findings suggest that information intervention is indispensable for containing the outbreak of infectious disease, but its effectiveness depends on a complicated way on both external social/epidemic factors and the governments’ internal preferences and governance capability, for which more thorough investigations are needed in the future. View Full-Text
Keywords: information intervention; information disclosing; information blocking; social network; COVID-19 information intervention; information disclosing; information blocking; social network; COVID-19
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lu, Y.; Ji, Z.; Zhang, X.; Zheng, Y.; Liang, H. Re-Thinking the Role of Government Information Intervention in the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Agent-Based Modeling Analysis. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 147. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18010147

AMA Style

Lu Y, Ji Z, Zhang X, Zheng Y, Liang H. Re-Thinking the Role of Government Information Intervention in the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Agent-Based Modeling Analysis. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(1):147. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18010147

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lu, Yao, Zheng Ji, Xiaoqi Zhang, Yanqiao Zheng, and Han Liang. 2021. "Re-Thinking the Role of Government Information Intervention in the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Agent-Based Modeling Analysis" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 1: 147. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18010147

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