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Corona politics: The cost of mismanaging pandemics


  • Herrera, Helios
  • Konradt, Maximilian
  • Ordoñez, Guillermo
  • Trebesch, Christoph


The Covid-19 pandemic is a major test for governments around the world. We study the political consequences of (mis-)managing the Covid crisis by constructing a highfrequency dataset of government approval for 35 countries. In the first weeks after the outbreak, approval rates for incumbents increase strongly, consistent with a global 'rally around the flag' effect. Approval, however, drops again in countries where Covid cases continue to grow. This is especially true for governments that do not implement stringent policies to control the number of infections. Overall, the evidence suggests that loose pandemic policies are politically costly. Governments that placed more weight on health rather than short-term economic outcomes obtained higher approval.

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  • 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).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwkwp:2165

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    Cited by:

    1. Iacoella, Francesco & Justino, Patrica & Martorano, Bruno, 2021. "Do pandemics lead to rebellion? Policy responses to COVID-19, inequality, and protests in the USA," MERIT Working Papers 2021-014, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    2. 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.
    3. Belhadi, Amine & Kamble, Sachin & Jabbour, Charbel Jose Chiappetta & Gunasekaran, Angappa & Ndubisi, Nelson Oly & Venkatesh, Mani, 2021. "Manufacturing and service supply chain resilience to the COVID-19 outbreak: Lessons learned from the automobile and airline industries," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 163(C).
    4. Stewart Nixon, 2020. "Global Integration Is More Important than Ever to Contain the Economic and Health Fallout and Exit the COVID-19 Pandemic Crisis," World Bank Publications - Reports 34394, The World Bank Group.
    5. Parajuli, Anubhuti & Kuzgunkaya, Onur & Vidyarthi, Navneet, 2021. "The impact of congestion on protection decisions in supply networks under disruptions," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 145(C).
    6. Borbáth, Endre & Hunger, Sophia & Hutter, Swen & Oana, Ioana-Elena, 2021. "Civic and Political Engagement during the Multifaceted COVID-19 Crisis," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 311-324.
    7. He, Hongwei & Harris, Lloyd, 2020. "The impact of Covid-19 pandemic on corporate social responsibility and marketing philosophy," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 176-182.
    8. 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.
    9. Nagurney, Anna, 2021. "Supply chain game theory network modeling under labor constraints: Applications to the Covid-19 pandemic," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 293(3), pages 880-891.
    10. Madurai Elavarasan, Rajvikram & Shafiullah, GM & Raju, Kannadasan & Mudgal, Vijay & Arif, M.T. & Jamal, Taskin & Subramanian, Senthilkumar & Sriraja Balaguru, V.S. & Reddy, K.S. & Subramaniam, Umashan, 2020. "COVID-19: Impact analysis and recommendations for power sector operation," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 279(C).

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    More about this item


    Political Popularity; Political Economy; Crisis Management; Covid-19;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H12 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Crisis Management
    • F50 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - General

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    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


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