Title: Anti-pandemic restrictions, uncertainty and sentiment in seven countries
Authors: Wojciech Charemza - Vistula University (Poland)
Svetlana Makarova - University College London (United Kingdom) [presenting]
Krzysztof Rybinski - Vistula University Warsaw (Poland)
Abstract: The purpose is to evaluate how the stringency of government anti-pandemic policy might affect economic policy uncertainty in countries with different degrees of press freedom and various reporting styles and writing conventions. We apply a text-based measure of uncertainty using data from over 400,000 press articles from Belarus, Kazakhstan, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, the UK, and the US published during the waves of the Covid-19 pandemic before the wide-scale vaccination programmes were introduced. The measure accounts for pandemic-related words, and sentiment scores to weight the selected articles. We find that the level of anti-pandemic stringency negatively affects uncertainty, while a change in that level has the opposite effect.