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Democracy and COVID-19 Outcomes


  • Karabulut, Gokhan
  • Zimmermann, Klaus F.
  • Bilgin, Mehmet Huseyin
  • Doker, Asli Cansin


More democratic countries are often expected to fail at providing a fast, strong, and effective response when facing a crisis such as COVID-19. This could result in higher infections and more negative health effects, but hard evidence to prove this claim is missing for the new disease. Studying the association with five different democracy measures, this study shows that while the infection rates of the disease do indeed appear to be higher for more democratic countries so far, their observed case fatality rates are lower. There is also a negative association between case fatality rates and government attempts to censormedia. However, such censorship relates positively to the infection rate.

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  • Karabulut, Gokhan & Zimmermann, Klaus F. & Bilgin, Mehmet Huseyin & Doker, Asli Cansin, 2021. "Democracy and COVID-19 Outcomes," GLO Discussion Paper Series 770, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:770

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Klaus F. Zimmermann & Gokhan Karabulut & Mehmet Huseyin Bilgin & Asli Cansin Doker, 2020. "Inter‐country distancing, globalisation and the coronavirus pandemic," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(6), pages 1484-1498, June.
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    More about this item


    Democracy; COVID-19; Coronavirus; Pandemic; Lockdown; Media Censoring;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • C30 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - General
    • P16 - Political Economy and Comparative Economic Systems - - Capitalist Economies - - - Capitalist Institutions; Welfare State
    • I19 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Other

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