COVID-19 Data Analysis-4.2 (Health Priority/Economy Priority) print   
joongmin  Email [2020-08-25 00:11:14]  HIT : 15  

Preference Between Public Health and Economic Recovery by Global Citizens



1.    Background


Continuing the last chapter’s debate on disaster weathering priority and civil liberties priority index, this chapter will deal with global citizens’ preference between public health and economic recovery during the pandemic era. Balancing public health and economic recovery is also a one of the most vital issues during an abnormal situation. For rejuvenating economic activities, the UK government has driven the “Eat Out to Help Out Scheme” to encourage citizens to consume at restaurants and cafes. Similarly, the South Korean government drove the “Invigorating to Eat Out Campaign” as well, however, as the COVID-19 situation was rapidly getting worse in Seoul and Gyeonggi area, the government has stopped the campaign and elevated the social distancing to the second phase on August, 16th. During the COVID-19 situation, governments should be alert of the current situation and quickly handle the issue, whether it is a disease or economic crisis. This section focuses on figuring out on which side are global citizens inclining to, and the data analysis would help understand people’s value propensity and provide meaningful information to governments and researchers.


2.    Research Topic


As the COVID-19 crisis rises severe, it has been highly recommended by governments that people should stay at home and avoid social gatherings, and therefore, national consumption has been declining sharply. Moreover, there were a lot of predictions by economists that the international society would face economic crisis worse than the one that happened in 2008. However, a government could not make policies to spur economic vitalization at ease, since the more social gatherings, the more virus cases might cause. In this complicated circumstance, we are going to analyze what value global citizens emphasize more, and how the preference differs by region.


3.    Questionnaire Used


Survey Question II-2-2: “In the current situation, what do you think is a more urgent task set before your country between social distancing for public health and returning to normal life for economic recovery?”


The answers consist of a 10-point scale, with higher scores indicating an individual who emphasizes more on economic recovery and lower scores demonstrating a person who underlines public health.

4.    Major Outcomes


Table 1: Distribution Table of Health Priority and Economy Priority Scores


Health Priority                                                                                                                Economy Priority














Health Priority


Economy Priority















The table indicates the percentage of how many global citizens have chosen the corresponding score. For instance, the number “19.2” demonstrates that 19.2% of global citizens have chosen the “1” answer. To illustrate, 19.2% of individuals around the globe highly put an emphasis on implementing social distancing to protect public health. Likewise, the number “5.9” in the table means that 5.9% of people urgently put stress on the national economy. Also, the table shows that 62.3% of global citizens highlight overcoming a disaster by social distancing rather than economic recovery, whereas 37.7% of people are in the opposite position.


Table 2: Economy Priority Index (EPI) and Health Priority Index (EPI)
by Citizens of 28 Global Cities


For comparing which side is more predominant in every single city, reverse scaling is used in this study. The average scores of each city indicate the Health Priority Index (HPI), and 11 minus HPI demonstrates Economy Priority Index (EPI). The numerical differences between the two were calculated in order to show the gap between health priority and economy priority of 28 global citizens.

Figure 1: Line Graph of Economy Priority Index (EPI) and Health Priority Index (HPI)


This figure is a visualized version of Table 2, and the most outstanding finding of Figure 1 is that all HPIs are higher than EPIs except Moscow. It illustrates that hurdling a disaster is put an emphasis during the COVID-19 by global citizens. Nonetheless, citizens in Moscow prefer economic development to social distancing during the crisis.

Figure 2: Bar Graph of Numerical Difference between Health Priority Index (HPI) and Economy Priority Index (EPI)

The differences between HPIs and EPIs are drawn as a bar graph, shown in Figure 2. The yellow bar indicates the global average difference score (1.69). The bigger the difference scores, the more citizens are weighing on social distancing to overcome a disaster. In this sense, Moscow citizens are accenting economic recovery the most, followed by Oslo, Paris, Stockholm, and Wellington. On the other hand, people in Manila have the least interest in economic activities during the crisis and are willing to focus more on overcoming a disaster by actively participating in the social distancing behavior compared to other countries in the world. The top five highest difference scores are represented by Manila, Santiago, Taipei, and Singapore, most of which are Asian countries. Moreover, all difference scores except Moscow are positive numbers, which implies that 27 cities around the globe are making much of getting through the disaster in the COVID-19 era.


Table 3: Average Economy Priority Index (EPI) by Region  


Average Economy Priority Index (1 – 10)

East Asia


Southeast/South Asia


North America




Latin America





The scores in the table are the average Economy Priority Index (EPI) of the global citizens by region. To be specific, the lowest score of 4.12 was rated by Southeast and South Asian citizens on average. It demonstrates that people in this region tend to put more stress on social distancing than the economic recovery compared to other regions in the world. On the contrary, the highest score of 5.12 was rated by European citizens, which illustrates that people here highlight more on a sustainable economy than social distancing. All in all, Oceania (5.00) and Europe (5.12) relatively concern more about the economy, whereas other regions such as Asia, North America, and Latin America worry more about the health issue.

Figure 3: Bar Graph of Average Economy Priority Index by Region

Figure 3 is the visualized graph of Table 3, and the orange line is the world average economy priority index. The graph identifies that European and Oceanian citizens are inclined to prioritize the national economy when compared to other regions in the world. On the other hand, Southeast/South Asian people are showing the least interest in economic policies.

Figure 4: Scatter Plot - Individualistic Tendency of 28 Global Cities

The corresponding index of Civil Liberties Priority Index (CLPI) and Economy Priority Index (EPI) are Disaster Weathering Priority Index (DWPI) and Health Priority Index (HPI). The former two indexes are individual-level values, and the latter two indexes are communal-level values. Hence, for identifying the relationship between the two individual-level values, the study selected CLPI and EPI to draw a scatter plot. The horizontal line indicates CLPI, and the vertical line represents EPI. If the dots are revolving around the y = x line, it illustrates that the two indexes have a positive relationship. The Figure shows us that the higher CLPI is, the higher the EPI shows. For instance, Oslo citizens weight both on civil liberties and economic activities; yet, people in Manila make little of either liberties or economy.

Besides, dots under the y = x line demonstrate that the citizens of the city value more civil liberties than economic recovery, and vice versa. To illustrate, Europeans accent both on civil liberties and economic recovery, but they are interested more in going back to normal life by economic restoration. Similarly, the figure demonstrates that East Asian people are having little affection either on liberties or the economy, but they also have more interests in the economy since most dots are above the y = x line.


5.    Summaries and Further Tasks

a.     Generally speaking, global citizens regard social distancing as important than economic recovery.

b.     Global citizens prioritize social distancing then economic restoration during the COVID-19 era since the numeric difference scores of Health Priority Index (HPI) and Economy Priority Index (EPI) are positive. Yet, Moscow is the only city shows the negative difference between the two, implying that the citizens in Moscow put more emphasis on economic rehabilitation than social distancing.

c.     Oceanian and European average EPIs are higher than the global average, indicating these two regions are sensitive about economies, whereas Southeast/South Asian average EPI scored the lowest.

d.     The study is limited to descriptive research, and therefore, more detailed explanative investigation is required to further understand the global citizens’ consciousness presented above. For instance, why people in Oceania and Europe are showing much interest in economic activities? Why people in Moscow are highly interested in economic recovery? And why citizens are emphasizing more on the economy than civil liberties?




     75. Survey on Citizens in 30 Global Cities (The Second Media Briefing on COVID-19 Survey)