IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/zbw/glodps/710pre.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The COVID-19 Pandemic and the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election

Author

Listed:
  • Baccini, Leonardo
  • Brodeur, Abel
  • Weymouth, Stephen

Abstract

What is the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the 2020 U.S. 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 so- cioeconomic 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 ur- ban 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 the COVID-19 incidence had a positive effect on voters' mobilization, helping Biden win the presidency.

Suggested Citation

  • Baccini, Leonardo & Brodeur, Abel & Weymouth, Stephen, 2021. "The COVID-19 Pandemic and the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election," GLO Discussion Paper Series 710 [pre.], Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:710pre
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/228452/1/GLO-DP-0710pre.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    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. 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.
    5. 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).
    6. 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.
    7. 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).
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. Alex Rees-Jones & John D'Attoma & Amedeo Piolatto & Luca Salvadori, 2020. "COVID-19 Changed Tastes for Safety-Net Programs," NBER Working Papers 27865, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    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 & Nathaniel Hendren & Michael Stepner & The Opportunity Insights Team, 2020. "The Economic Impacts of COVID-19: Evidence from a New Public Database Built Using Private Sector Data," NBER Working Papers 27431, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    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, Oxford University Press, 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, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(4), pages 834-862.
    20. Paola Giuliano & Antonio Spilimbergo, 2014. "Growing up in a Recession," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, 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. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
    25. 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)

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Chris Sampson’s journal round-up for 1st February 2021
      by Chris Sampson in The Academic Health Economists' Blog on 2021-02-01 12:00:03

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Antoci, Angelo & Sabatini, Fabio & Sacco, Pier Luigi & Sodini, Mauro, 2022. "Experts vs. policymakers in the COVID-19 policy response," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 201(C), pages 22-39.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    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. Guilhem Cassan & Marc Sangnier, 2022. "The impact of 2020 French municipal elections on the spread of COVID-19," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 35(3), pages 963-988, July.
    6. Karabulut, Gokhan & Zimmermann, Klaus F. & Bilgin, Mehmet Huseyin & Doker, Asli Cansin, 2021. "Democracy and COVID-19 outcomes," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 203(C).
    7. Picchio, Matteo & Santolini, Raffaella, 2022. "The COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on voter turnout," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 73(C).
    8. 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.
    9. Paolo Nicola Barbieri & Beatrice Bonini, 2021. "Political orientation and adherence to social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy," Economia Politica: Journal of Analytical and Institutional Economics, Springer;Fondazione Edison, vol. 38(2), pages 483-504, July.
    10. Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes & Neeraj Kaushal & Ashley N. Muchow, 2021. "Timing of social distancing policies and COVID-19 mortality: county-level evidence from the U.S," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 34(4), pages 1445-1472, October.
    11. Anton M. Pillay & Jeremiah Madzimure, 2021. "Democracy in Decline: Three Global Trends and How They Highlight the Case of “American Exceptionalism” and the Need to Re-Think IR Theory," Eurasian Journal of Social Sciences, Eurasian Publications, vol. 9(3), pages 138-149.
    12. 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.
    13. Baskaran, Thushyanthan & Hessami, Zohal & Khasanboev, Temurbek, 2022. "Political Selection When Uncertainty Is High," IZA Discussion Papers 15509, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    14. Cipullo, Davide & Le Moglie, Marco, 2022. "To vote, or not to vote? Electoral campaigns and the spread of COVID-19," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 72(C).
    15. James Lake & Jun Nie, 2022. "The 2020 US Presidential Election and Trump's Trade War," CESifo Working Paper Series 9669, CESifo.
    16. 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.
    17. Carlos Miguel Ferreira & Sandro Serpa, 2021. "COVID-19 Stigma and Charismatic Social Relationship: A Legitimization Narrative of President Trump’s Status as a Charismatic Leader following a SARS-CoV-2 Infection Reported by the Portuguese Media," Societies, MDPI, vol. 11(4), pages 1-13, October.
    18. Ján Palguta & Levínský, René & Škoda, Samuel, 2021. "Do Elections Accelerate the COVID-19 Pandemic? Evidence from a Natural Experiment," GLO Discussion Paper Series 891, Global Labor Organization (GLO).

    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, 2020. "Do Stay-at-Home Orders Cause People to Stay at Home? Effects of Stay-at-Home Orders on Consumer Behavior," Working Paper Series WP-2020-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, revised 19 Aug 2021.
    12. 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).
    13. 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.
    14. Cerqua, Augusto & Letta, Marco, 2022. "Local inequalities of the COVID-19 crisis," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(C).
    15. João Granja & Christos Makridis & Constantine Yannelis & Eric Zwick, 2020. "Did the Paycheck Protection Program Hit the Target?," NBER Working Papers 27095, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. 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.
    17. Nicola Pierri & Yannick Timmer, 2020. "IT Shields: Technology Adoption and Economic Resilience during the Covid-19 Pandemic," CESifo Working Paper Series 8720, CESifo.
    18. Ainaa, Carmen & Brunetti, Irene & Mussida, Chiara & Scicchitano, Sergio, 2021. "Who lost the most? Distributive effects of COVID-19 pandemic," GLO Discussion Paper Series 829, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    19. DI BARTOLOMEO, Giovanni & D'IMPERIO, Paolo & FELICI, Francesco, 2021. "The fiscal response to the Italian COVID-19 crisis: A counterfactual analysis," Working Papers 2021006, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Business and Economics.
    20. Nicholas W. Papageorge & Matthew V. Zahn & Michèle Belot & Eline Broek-Altenburg & Syngjoo Choi & Julian C. Jamison & Egon Tripodi, 2021. "Socio-demographic factors associated with self-protecting behavior during the Covid-19 pandemic," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 34(2), pages 691-738, April.

    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

    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:zbw:glodps:710pre. 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/glabode.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: ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/glabode.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.