IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/spr/jopoec/v34y2021i2d10.1007_s00148-020-00820-3.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 US presidential election

Author

Listed:
  • Leonardo Baccini

    (McGill University
    CIREQ)

  • Abel Brodeur

    (University of Ottawa)

  • Stephen Weymouth

    (Georgetown University)

Abstract

What is the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the 2020 US presidential election? Guided by a pre-analysis plan, we estimate the effect of COVID-19 cases and deaths on the change in county-level voting for Donald Trump between 2016 and 2020. To account for potential confounders, we include a large number of COVID-19-related controls as well as demographic and socioeconomic variables. Moreover, we instrument the numbers of cases and deaths with the share of workers employed in meat-processing factories to sharpen our identification strategy. We find that COVID-19 cases negatively affected Trump’s vote share. The estimated effect appears strongest in urban counties, in states without stay-at-home orders, in swing states, and in states that Trump won in 2016. A simple counterfactual analysis suggests that Trump would likely have won re-election if COVID-19 cases had been 5 percent lower. We also find some evidence that COVID-19 incidence had a positive effect on voters’ mobilization, helping Biden win the presidency.

Suggested Citation

  • Leonardo Baccini & Abel Brodeur & Stephen Weymouth, 2021. "The COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 US presidential election," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 34(2), pages 739-767, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:34:y:2021:i:2:d:10.1007_s00148-020-00820-3
    DOI: 10.1007/s00148-020-00820-3
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s00148-020-00820-3
    File Function: Abstract
    Download Restriction: Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted.

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1007/s00148-020-00820-3?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. David Autor & David Dorn & Gordon Hanson & Kaveh Majlesi, 2020. "Importing Political Polarization? The Electoral Consequences of Rising Trade Exposure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 110(10), pages 3139-3183, October.
    2. Margalit, Yotam, 2013. "Explaining Social Policy Preferences: Evidence from the Great Recession," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 107(1), pages 80-103, February.
    3. Dingel, Jonathan I. & Neiman, Brent, 2020. "How many jobs can be done at home?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 189(C).
    4. Rees-Jones, Alex & D’Attoma, John & Piolatto, Amedeo & Salvadori, Luca, 2022. "Experience of the COVID-19 pandemic and support for safety-net expansion," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 200(C), pages 1090-1104.
    5. Abel Brodeur & Nikolai Cook & Anthony Heyes, 2020. "Methods Matter: p-Hacking and Publication Bias in Causal Analysis in Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 110(11), pages 3634-3660, November.
    6. Chudik, Alexander & Mohaddes, Kamiar & Pesaran, M. Hashem & Raissi, Mehdi & Rebucci, Alessandro, 2021. "A counterfactual economic analysis of Covid-19 using a threshold augmented multi-country model," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 119(C).
    7. Gerber, Alan & Malhotra, Neil, 2008. "Do Statistical Reporting Standards Affect What Is Published? Publication Bias in Two Leading Political Science Journals," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 3(3), pages 313-326, October.
    8. Béland, Louis-Philippe & Brodeur, Abel & Wright, Taylor, 2020. "The Short-Term Economic Consequences of COVID-19: Exposure to Disease, Remote Work and Government Response," GLO Discussion Paper Series 524, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    9. Leonardo Baccini & Abel Brodeur & Stephen Weymouth, 2021. "The COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 US presidential election," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 34(2), pages 739-767, April.
    10. Mo, Cecilia Hyunjung & Conn, Katharine M., 2018. "When Do the Advantaged See the Disadvantages of Others? A Quasi-Experimental Study of National Service," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 721-741, November.
    11. Coibion, Olivier & Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & Weber, Michael, 2020. "Labor Markets During the Covid-19 Crisis: A Preliminary View," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt7rx7t91p, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    12. Allcott, Hunt & Boxell, Levi & Conway, Jacob & Gentzkow, Matthew & Thaler, Michael & Yang, David, 2020. "Polarization and public health: Partisan differences in social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 191(C).
    13. Herrera, Helios & Konradt, Maximilian & Ordoñez, Guillermo & Trebesch, Christoph, 2020. "Corona politics: The cost of mismanaging pandemics," Kiel Working Papers 2165, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel).
    14. Kinder, Donald R. & Kiewiet, D. Roderick, 1981. "Sociotropic Politics: The American Case," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 129-161, April.
    15. Abel Brodeur & David Gray & Anik Islam & Suraiya Bhuiyan, 2021. "A literature review of the economics of COVID‐19," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(4), pages 1007-1044, September.
    16. Raj Chetty & John N Friedman & Michael Stepner & Opportunity Insights Team & Camille Baker & Harvey Barnhard & Matt Bell & Gregory Bruich & Tina Chelidze & Lucas Chu & Westley Cineus & Sebi Devlin-Fol, 2024. "The Economic Impacts of COVID-19: Evidence from a New Public Database Built Using Private Sector Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 139(2), pages 829-889.
    17. Baccini, Leonardo & Brodeur, Abel, 2020. "Explaining Governors' Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic in the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 13137, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    18. Torsten Persson & Gérard Roland & Guido Tabellini, 1997. "Separation of Powers and Political Accountability," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 112(4), pages 1163-1202.
    19. Scott R Baker & Robert A Farrokhnia & Steffen Meyer & Michaela Pagel & Constantine Yannelis & Jeffrey Pontiff, 0. "How Does Household Spending Respond to an Epidemic? Consumption during the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic," The Review of Asset Pricing Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 10(4), pages 834-862.
    20. Paola Giuliano & Antonio Spilimbergo, 2014. "Growing up in a Recession," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 81(2), pages 787-817.
    21. Luca Bonacini & Giovanni Gallo & Fabrizio Patriarca, 2021. "Identifying policy challenges of COVID-19 in hardly reliable data and judging the success of lockdown measures," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 34(1), pages 275-301, January.
    22. Abney, F. Glenn & Hill, Larry B., 1966. "Natural Disasters as a Political Variable: The Effect of a Hurricane on an Urban Election," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 60(4), pages 974-981, December.
    23. Yun Qiu & Xi Chen & Wei Shi, 2020. "Impacts of social and economic factors on the transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in China," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 33(4), pages 1127-1172, October.
    24. Kim, Sung Eun & Margalit, Yotam, 2021. "Tariffs As Electoral Weapons: The Political Geography of the US–China Trade War," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 75(1), pages 1-38, January.
    25. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
    26. Anton Gollwitzer & Cameron Martel & William J. Brady & Philip Pärnamets & Isaac G. Freedman & Eric D. Knowles & Jay J. Van Bavel, 2020. "Partisan differences in physical distancing are linked to health outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic," Nature Human Behaviour, Nature, vol. 4(11), pages 1186-1197, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Brodeur, Abel & Baccini, Leonardo & Weymouth, Stephen, 2020. "The COVID-19 Pandemic and US Presidential Elections," MetaArXiv sxajv, Center for Open Science.
    2. Abel Brodeur & Idaliya Grigoryeva & Lamis Kattan, 2021. "Stay-at-home orders, social distancing, and trust," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 34(4), pages 1321-1354, October.
    3. Brodeur, Abel & Cook, Nikolai & Wright, Taylor, 2021. "On the effects of COVID-19 safer-at-home policies on social distancing, car crashes and pollution," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 106(C).
    4. Rees-Jones, Alex & D’Attoma, John & Piolatto, Amedeo & Salvadori, Luca, 2022. "Experience of the COVID-19 pandemic and support for safety-net expansion," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 200(C), pages 1090-1104.
    5. Maxim Ananyev & Michael Poyker & Yuan Tian, 2021. "The safest time to fly: pandemic response in the era of Fox News," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 34(3), pages 775-802, July.
    6. Daniel Graeber & Alexander S. Kritikos & Johannes Seebauer, 2021. "COVID-19: a crisis of the female self-employed," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 34(4), pages 1141-1187, October.
    7. Louis-Philippe Beland & Abel Brodeur & Taylor Wright, 2020. "COVID-19, Stay-at-Home Orders and Employment: Evidence from CPS Data," Carleton Economic Papers 20-04, Carleton University, Department of Economics, revised 19 May 2020.
    8. Luca Bonacini & Giovanni Gallo & Sergio Scicchitano, 2021. "Working from home and income inequality: risks of a ‘new normal’ with COVID-19," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 34(1), pages 303-360, January.
    9. Adams-Prassl, Abi & Boneva, Teodora & Golin, Marta & Rauh, Christopher, 2020. "Inequality in the impact of the coronavirus shock: Evidence from real time surveys," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 189(C).
    10. Michaela Benzeval & Jon Burton & Thomas Crossley & Paul Fisher & Annette Jäckle & Hamish Low & Brendan Read, 2020. "The idiosyncratic impact of an aggregate shock: the distributional consequences of COVID-19," IFS Working Papers W20/15, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    11. Diane Alexander & Ezra Karger, 2023. "Do Stay-at-Home Orders Cause People to Stay at Home? Effects of Stay-at-Home Orders on Consumer Behavior," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 105(4), pages 1017-1027, July.
    12. Carmen Aina & Irene Brunetti & Chiara Mussida & Sergio Scicchitano, 2023. "Distributional effects of COVID-19," Eurasian Business Review, Springer;Eurasia Business and Economics Society, vol. 13(1), pages 221-256, March.
    13. Gonzalez-Eiras, Martín & Niepelt, Dirk, 2022. "The political economy of early COVID-19 interventions in US states," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 140(C).
    14. Grimalda, Gianluca & Murtin, Fabrice & Pipke, David & Putterman, Louis & Sutter, Matthias, 2023. "The politicized pandemic: Ideological polarization and the behavioral response to COVID-19," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 156(C).
    15. Abel Brodeur & David Gray & Anik Islam & Suraiya Bhuiyan, 2021. "A literature review of the economics of COVID‐19," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(4), pages 1007-1044, September.
    16. Cerqua, Augusto & Letta, Marco, 2022. "Local inequalities of the COVID-19 crisis," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(C).
    17. Granja, João & Makridis, Christos & Yannelis, Constantine & Zwick, Eric, 2022. "Did the paycheck protection program hit the target?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 145(3), pages 725-761.
    18. Martin Kahanec & Lukáš Lafférs & Bernhard Schmidpeter, 2021. "The impact of repeated mass antigen testing for COVID-19 on the prevalence of the disease," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 34(4), pages 1105-1140, October.
    19. Arceo-Gomez, Eva O. & Campos-Vazquez, Raymundo M. & Esquivel, Gerardo & Alcaraz, Eduardo & Martinez, Luis A. & Lopez, Norma G., 2023. "The impact of COVID-19 infection on labor outcomes of Mexican formal workers," World Development Perspectives, Elsevier, vol. 29(C).
    20. Nicola Pierri & Yannick Timmer, 2020. "IT Shields: Technology Adoption and Economic Resilience during the Covid-19 Pandemic," CESifo Working Paper Series 8720, CESifo.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    COVID-19; Pandemic; Elections; Political behavior; Pre-analysis plan;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:34:y:2021:i:2:d:10.1007_s00148-020-00820-3. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Sonal Shukla or Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.