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

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    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. Mafalda Venâncio de Vasconcelos & Filipa Leão de Vasconcelos, 2021. "Risk perception and policy responses to Covid-19: New Evidence," CHILD Working Papers Series 91 JEL Classification: H1, Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic Economics (CHILD) - CCA.
    7. Thushyanthan Baskaran & Zohal Hessami & Temurbek Khasanboev, 2023. "Political selection when uncertainty is high," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 76(2), pages 161-178, May.
    8. 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, vol. 27(2), pages 311-324.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. 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).
    13. Roberta Capello & Andrea Caragliu, 2021. "Regional growth and disparities in a post‐COVID Europe: A new normality scenario," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(4), pages 710-727, September.
    14. Étienne Dagorn & Martina Dattilo & Matthieu Pourieux, 2022. "Preferences matter! Political Responses to the COVID-19 and Population’s Preferences," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 2022-01, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.
    15. James Alm & Raul A. Barreto, 2024. "Trust in Government in a Changing World: Shocks, Tax Evasion, and Economic Growth," Working Papers 2405, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
    16. Cathy W S Chen & Tsai-Hung Fan, 2022. "Public opinion concerning governments’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 17(3), pages 1-10, March.
    17. Dalal Al‐Taweel & Asmaa Al‐Haqan & Dalia Bajis & Jawaher Al‐Bader & AbdulRahman M. Al‐Taweel & Abrar Al‐Awadhi & Fawzeya Al‐Awadhi, 2020. "Multidisciplinary academic perspectives during the COVID‐19 pandemic," International Journal of Health Planning and Management, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(6), pages 1295-1301, November.
    18. 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.
    19. Koen Deconinck & Ellie Avery & Lee Ann Jackson, 2020. "Food Supply Chains and Covid‐19: Impacts and Policy Lessons," EuroChoices, The Agricultural Economics Society, vol. 19(3), pages 34-39, December.
    20. 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).
    21. 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).
    22. Alm James & Barreto Raul A., 2024. "Trust in Government in a Changing World: Shocks, Tax Evasion, and Economic Growth," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 24(1), pages 439-487, January.

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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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