The Trajectory of Corona-virus and Peoples’ Concern in Africa: A Markov Switching Regression Model Based on Google Trends® Analysis
Keywords:Coronavirus, Google Trend, Markov Switching, Concern, Behavior
Coronavirus pandemic put more pressures on people concerns and behavior in all countries. The aim is to estimate the dynamic correlations and potential effect of the virus spreading on the dynamic of people's concern in four African countries (South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria and Algeria). Based on Google Trends analysis and dynamic of the virus outbreak from March 13, 2020 to August 28, 2020, two-state Markov Switching (MS) regression model was fitted. The findings revealed a weak-positive correlation between Google Trends and new confirmed cases for all countries. For causality inference, MS estimation showed a weak effect of the new confirmed cases on the waves of people interest over the study period. We think that virus spreading effect is vanished by other factors (such Media coverage). This work revealed the importance of web search tools (like Google Trends) in providing policy-makers utile information during periods of pandemic and health.