As the corresponding author, Yi Yang, a faculty member of SWUFE, together with Professor Li Zhen, National University of Singapore, Dr. Li Huang, City University of Hong Kong, published a paper titled Government disclosure in influencing people’s behaviors during a public health emergency in Humanities and Social Sciences Communications, a recent journal from the Nature Portfolio. This is the first interdisciplinary accounting paper to discuss the effect of information disclosure on epidemic prevention and control. The paper was included by the World Health Organization. The achievements of the paper help to summarize the effective measures and experience of China's epidemic prevention and control, and provide China's experience and wisdom for global epidemic prevention and control.
We shed light on the importance of government disclosure in public emergency management. During the outbreak of COVID-19, provinces in China entered a government disclosure regime, which mandated the disclosure of the number of people infected with the virus on a daily basis. Each province also voluntarily disclosed its own virus situation. We find that various forms of province-level government disclosure generally reduced the number of trips made by the infected and sped up their diagnosis. They also raised attention paid to the virus and self-protection awareness as well as reduced mobility among the susceptible. Finally, government voluntary disclosure helped to reduce the duration of local epidemics. We conclude that government disclosure can be effective in instilling the correct human behaviors that are conducive to fighting the pandemic.