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Health, Economic and Social Implications of COVID-19 for China’s Rural Population


Wang, Huan; Dill, Sarah-Eve; Zhou, Huan; Ma, Yue; Xue, Hao; Sylvia, Sean; Smith, Kumi; Boswell, Matthew; Medina, Alexis; & Loyalka, Prashant, et al. (2021). Health, Economic and Social Implications of COVID-19 for China’s Rural Population. Agricultural Economics, 52(3), 495-504. PMCID: PMC8207079


This study examines the effects of local and nationwide COVID‐19 disease control measures on the health and economy of China's rural population. We conducted phone surveys with 726 randomly selected village informants across seven rural Chinese provinces in February 2020. Four villages (0.55%) reported infections, and none reported deaths. Disease control measures had been universally implemented in all sample villages. About 74% of informants reported that villagers with wage‐earning jobs outside the village had stopped working due to workplace closures. A higher percentage of rural individuals could not work due to transportation, housing, and other constraints. Local governments had taken measures to reduce the impact of COVID‐19. Although schools in all surveyed villages were closed, 71% of village informants reported that students were attending classes online. Overall, measures to control COVID‐19 appear to have been successful in limiting disease transmission in rural communities outside the main epidemic area. Rural Chinese citizens, however, have experienced significant economic consequences from the disease control measures.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Article Type


Year Published


Journal Title

Agricultural Economics


Wang, Huan
Dill, Sarah-Eve
Zhou, Huan
Ma, Yue
Xue, Hao
Sylvia, Sean
Smith, Kumi
Boswell, Matthew
Medina, Alexis
Loyalka, Prashant
Abby, Cody
Friesen, Dimitris
Rose, Nathan
Guo, Yian
Rozelle, Scott