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Assessing the effectiveness of international government responses to the COVID-19 pandemic


  • López-Mendoza, Héctor
  • González-Álvarez, María A.
  • Montañés, Antonio


This paper examines the effectiveness of non-pharmaceutical measures adopted by governments to control the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic. Using a Panel VAR model for the OECD countries, we test for Granger causality between the 7-day cumulative incidence, mortality rate, and government response indexes. Granger-type statistics reveal evidence that the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic influenced the measures taken by governments. However, limited or nonexistent evidence supports the reverse situation. This suggests that government measures were not highly effective in controlling the pandemic. While not implying total ineffectiveness, our results indicate a considerable lack of efficacy, emphasizing a lesson for governments to learn from and correct in preparation for similar events in the future.

Suggested Citation

  • López-Mendoza, Héctor & González-Álvarez, María A. & Montañés, Antonio, 2024. "Assessing the effectiveness of international government responses to the COVID-19 pandemic," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 52(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:52:y:2024:i:c:s1570677x24000054
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ehb.2024.101353

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    More about this item


    Government response index; Stringency indexes; Granger causality; Incidence; SARS-CoV-2 infection; COVID-19;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • H0 - Public Economics - - General


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