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Ebola and State Legitimacy

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  • Matthias Flückiger
  • Markus Ludwig
  • Ali Sina Önder

Abstract

We exploit the West African Ebola epidemic as an event that necessitated the provision of a common-interest public good, Ebola control measures, to empirically investigate the effect of public good provision on state legitimacy. Our results show that state legitimacy, measured by trust in government authorities, increased with exposure to the epidemic. We argue, supported by results from SMS-message-based surveys, that a potentially important channel underlying this finding is a greater valuation of control measures in regions with intense transmission. Evidence further indicates that the effects of Ebola exposure are more pronounced in areas where governments responded relatively robustly to the epidemic.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthias Flückiger & Markus Ludwig & Ali Sina Önder, 2019. "Ebola and State Legitimacy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 129(621), pages 2064-2089.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:econjl:v:129:y:2019:i:621:p:2064-2089.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/ecoj.12638
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    Cited by:

    1. Barry Eichengreen ⓡ & Cevat Giray Aksoy ⓡ & Orkun Saka, 2020. "Revenge of the Experts: Will Covid-19 Renew or Diminish Public Trust in Science?," NBER Working Papers 28112, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Bargain, Olivier & Aminjonov, Ulugbek, 2020. "Trust and Compliance to Public Health Policies in Times of COVID-19," IZA Discussion Papers 13205, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Filipe R. Campante & Emilio Depetris-Chauvin & Ruben Durante, 2020. "The Virus of Fear: The Political Impact of Ebola in the U.S," NBER Working Papers 26897, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Olivier BARGAIN & Ulugbek AMINJONOV, 2020. "Trust and Compliance to Public Health Policies in Times of COVID-19," Bordeaux Economics Working Papers 2020-06, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée (GREThA).
    5. Gallego, Jorge & Prem, Mounu & Vargas, Juan F., 2020. "Corruption in the Times of Pandemia," Working papers 43, Red Investigadores de Economía.

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