IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/jku/econwp/2020-15.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The toll of voting in a pandemic: Municipal elections and the spread of COVID-19 in Bavaria

Author

Listed:
  • Jochen Güntner

Abstract

Elections may take place in precarious environments that even pose health risks. I consider the case of Bavaria, where close to ten million people were asked to vote in the municipal elections on March 15 of 2020, to quantify the toll of elections in a pandemic. Despite declaring a state of emergency on the very next day, two weeks later, Bavaria had left behind any other German state in terms of COVID-19 infections and deaths per capita. Using district-level health, demographic, and economic data, I find that at least 3,700 or 15% of the cumulative increase in positive test results between March 15 and April 4 are explained by a dummy variable for Bavaria. Across Bavarian districts, a 1% increase in voter participation is associated with an additional 13.6 positive tests and 1.2 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants over the following three weeks.

Suggested Citation

  • Jochen Güntner, 2020. "The toll of voting in a pandemic: Municipal elections and the spread of COVID-19 in Bavaria," Economics working papers 2020-15, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  • Handle: RePEc:jku:econwp:2020-15
    Note: English
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.econ.jku.at/papers/2020/wp2015.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Alberto Abadie & Javier Gardeazabal, 2003. "The Economic Costs of Conflict: A Case Study of the Basque Country," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 113-132, March.
    2. Alexander Ahammer & Martin Halla & Mario Lackner, 2020. "Mass Gatherings Contributed to Early COVID-19 Spread: Evidence from US Sports," CDL Aging, Health, Labor working papers 2020-03, The Christian Doppler (CD) Laboratory Aging, Health, and the Labor Market, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    3. John T. Gasper & Andrew Reeves, 2011. "Make It Rain? Retrospection and the Attentive Electorate in the Context of Natural Disasters," American Journal of Political Science, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 55(2), pages 340-355, April.
    4. 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).
    5. Marco Frank & David Stadelmann & Benno Torgler, 2020. "Electoral Turnout During States of Emergency and Effects on Incumbent Vote Share," CREMA Working Paper Series 2020-10, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    6. Chad Cotti & Bryan Engelhardt & Joshua Foster & Erik Nesson & Paul Niekamp, 2021. "The relationship between in‐person voting and COVID‐19: Evidence from the Wisconsin primary," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(4), pages 760-777, October.
    7. Abadie, Alberto & Diamond, Alexis & Hainmueller, Jens, 2010. "Synthetic Control Methods for Comparative Case Studies: Estimating the Effect of California’s Tobacco Control Program," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 105(490), pages 493-505.
    8. Michael M. Bechtel & Jens Hainmueller, 2011. "How Lasting Is Voter Gratitude? An Analysis of the Short‐ and Long‐Term Electoral Returns to Beneficial Policy," American Journal of Political Science, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 55(4), pages 852-868, October.
    9. Scott Ashworth & Ethan Bueno de Mesquita & Amanda Friedenberg, 2018. "Learning about Voter Rationality," American Journal of Political Science, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 62(1), pages 37-54, January.
    10. Hideki Toya & Mark Skidmore, 2014. "Do Natural Disasters Enhance Societal Trust?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(2), pages 255-279, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    RePEc Biblio mentions

    As found on the RePEc Biblio, the curated bibliography for Economics:
    1. > Economics of Welfare > Health Economics > Economics of Pandemics > Specific pandemics > Covid-19 > Politics

    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. Dodlova, Marina & Zudenkova, Galina, 2021. "Incumbents’ performance and political extremism," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 201(C).
    2. Gualtieri, Giovanni & Nicolini, Marcella & Sabatini, Fabio, 2019. "Repeated shocks and preferences for redistribution," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 167(C), pages 53-71.
    3. Neugart, Michael & Rode, Johannes, 2021. "Voting after a major flood: Is there a link between democratic experience and retrospective voting?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 133(C).
    4. Dave, Dhaval M. & Friedson, Andrew I. & McNichols, Drew & Sabia, Joseph J., 2020. "The Contagion Externality of a Superspreading Event: The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and COVID-19," IZA Discussion Papers 13670, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Masiero, Giuliano & Santarossa, Michael, 2021. "Natural disasters and electoral outcomes," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 67(C).
    6. Fazio, Andrea & Reggiani, Tommaso & Sabatini, Fabio, 2022. "The political cost of sanctions: Evidence from COVID-19," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 126(9), pages 872-878.
    7. Mangrum, Daniel & Niekamp, Paul, 2022. "JUE Insight: College student travel contributed to local COVID-19 spread," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C).
    8. Fazio, Andrea & Reggiani, Tommaso G. & Sabatini, Fabio, 2021. "The Political Cost of Lockdown's Enforcement," IZA Discussion Papers 14032, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Dennis Shen & Peng Ding & Jasjeet Sekhon & Bin Yu, 2022. "Same Root Different Leaves: Time Series and Cross-Sectional Methods in Panel Data," Papers 2207.14481, arXiv.org, revised Oct 2022.
    10. Daniel Albalate & Germà Bel & Ferran A. Mazaira-Font, 2020. "Ensuring Stability, Accuracy and Meaningfulness in Synthetic Control Methods: The Regularized SHAP-Distance Method," IREA Working Papers 202005, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Apr 2020.
    11. Bruno Ferman & Cristine Pinto & Vitor Possebom, 2020. "Cherry Picking with Synthetic Controls," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 39(2), pages 510-532, March.
    12. De los Santos, Babur & Kim, In Kyung & Lubensky, Dmitry, 2018. "Do MSRPs decrease prices?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 429-457.
      • Babur De los Santos & In Kyung Kim & Dmitry Lubensky, 2013. "Do MSRPs Decrease Prices?," Working Papers 2013-13, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
    13. Stefano Costalli & Luigi Moretti & Costantino Pischedda, 2014. "The Economic Costs of Civil War: Synthetic Counterfactual Evidence and the Effects of Ethnic Fractionalization," HiCN Working Papers 184, Households in Conflict Network.
    14. Matthias Krapf & David Staubli, 2020. "The Corporate Elasticity of Taxable Income: Event Study Evidence from Switzerland," CESifo Working Paper Series 8715, CESifo.
    15. Chiara Cavaglia & Sandra McNally & Henry G. Overman, 2020. "Devolving Skills: The Case of the Apprenticeship Grant for Employers," Fiscal Studies, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 41(4), pages 829-849, December.
    16. Gagliarducci, Stefano & Paserman, M. Daniele & Patacchini, Eleonora, 2019. "Hurricanes, Climate Change Policies and Electoral Accountability," IZA Discussion Papers 12334, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    17. Sheng, Yu & Xu, Xinpeng, 2019. "The productivity impact of climate change: Evidence from Australia's Millennium drought," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 182-191.
    18. Mthuli Ncube & Basil Jones, 2014. "Working Paper 197 - Estimating the Economic Cost of Fragility in Africa," Working Paper Series 2105, African Development Bank.
    19. Jeroen Klomp, 2020. "Election or Disaster Support?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 56(1), pages 205-220, January.
    20. Augusto Cerqua & Roberta Di Stefano, 2022. "When did coronavirus arrive in Europe?," Statistical Methods & Applications, Springer;Società Italiana di Statistica, vol. 31(1), pages 181-195, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    COVID-19; municipal elections; pandemic; synthetic control method;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H12 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Crisis Management
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    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:jku:econwp:2020-15. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/vlinzat.html .

    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: René Böheim (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/vlinzat.html .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.