David O. Argente, Chang-Tai Hsieh, Munseob Lee

Bibliographic Information

NBER Working Paper No. 27220
Issued in May 2020, Revised in July 2020
NBER Program(s):DEV, EFG, HC, HE, ITI

This paper was revised on July 21, 2020

Available Formats


South Korea publicly disclosed detailed location information of individuals that tested positive for COVID-19. We quantify the effect of public disclosure on the transmission of the virus and economic losses in Seoul. The change in commuting patterns due to public disclosure lowers the number of cases by 200 thousand and the number of deaths by 7.7 thousand in Seoul over two years. Compared to a city-wide lock-down that results in the same number of cases over two years as the disclosure scenario, the economic cost of such a lockdown is almost four times higher.

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