We provide large-scale empirical evidence on the effects of multiple governmental regulatory and health policies, vaccination, population mobility, and COVID-19-related Twitter narratives on the spread of a new coronavirus infection. Using multiple-level fixed effects panel data model with weekly data for 27 European Union countries in the period of March 2020–June 2021, we show that governmental response policies were effective both in reducing the number of COVID-19 infection cases and deaths from it, particularly, in the countries with higher level of rule of law. Vaccination expectedly helped to decrease the number of virus cases. Reductions in population mobility in public places and workplaces were also powerful in fighting the pandemic. Next, we identify four core pandemic-related Twitter narratives: governmental response policies, people's sad feelings during the pandemic, vaccination, and pandemic-related international politics. We find that sad feelings’ narrative helped to combat the virus spread in EU countries. Our findings also reveal that while in countries with high rule of law international politics’ narrative helped to reduce the virus spread, in countries with low rule of law the effect was strictly the opposite. The latter finding suggests that trust in politicians played an important role in confronting the pandemic.
- 511 Nationalekonomi