IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

This Time is Different? - On the Use of Emergency Measures During the Corona Pandemic


  • Bjørnskov, Christian
  • Voigt, Stefan


The COVID-19 pandemic has not only caused thousands to die and millions to lose their jobs, it has also prompted more governments to simultaneously to declare a state of emergency than ever before. States of emergency usually imply the extension of executive powers that diminishes the powers of other branches of government, as well as to the civil liberties of individuals. Here, we analyze whether the use of emergency provisions during the COVID-19 pandemic is an exception, and find that this is not the case. In fact, some measures point at long-term dangers to the rule of law and democracy.

Suggested Citation

  • Bjørnskov, Christian & Voigt, Stefan, 2020. "This Time is Different? - On the Use of Emergency Measures During the Corona Pandemic," ILE Working Paper Series 36, University of Hamburg, Institute of Law and Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ilewps:36

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2014. "This Time is Different: A Panoramic View of Eight Centuries of Financial Crises," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 15(2), pages 215-268, November.
    2. Uslaner, Eric M. & Davis, J. Ronnie, 1975. "The Paradox of Vote Trading: Effects of Decision Rules and Voting Strategies on Externalities," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 69(3), pages 929-942, September.
    3. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "Varieties of Crises and Their Dates," Introductory Chapters, in: This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, Princeton University Press.
    4. Barr, Nicholas, 2004. "Economics of the Welfare State," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 4, number 9780199264971.
    5. Hafner-Burton, Emilie M. & Helfer, Laurence R. & Fariss, Christopher J., 2011. "Emergency and Escape: Explaining Derogations from Human Rights Treaties," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 65(4), pages 673-707, October.
    6. Christian Bjørnskov & Stefan Voigt, 2022. "Terrorism and emergency constitutions in the Muslim world," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 59(3), pages 305-318, May.
    7. Bjørnskov, Christian & Voigt, Stefan, 2018. "Why do governments call a state of emergency? On the determinants of using emergency constitutions," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 110-123.
    8. Christian Bjørnskov & Stefan Voigt, 2020. "When Does Terror Induce a State of Emergency? And What Are the Effects?," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 64(4), pages 579-613, April.
    9. Dragu, Tiberiu, 2011. "Is There a Trade-off between Security and Liberty? Executive Bias, Privacy Protections, and Terrorism Prevention," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 105(1), pages 64-78, February.
    10. Christian Bjørnskov & Stefan Voigt, 2021. "Is constitutionalized media freedom only window dressing? Evidence from terrorist attacks," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 187(3), pages 321-348, June.
    11. Christian Bjørnskov & Martin Rode, 2020. "Regime types and regime change: A new dataset on democracy, coups, and political institutions," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 531-551, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


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

    Cited by:

    1. Egger, Clara & Magni-Berton, Raul & Roché, Sébastian & Aarts, Kees, 2020. "I do it my way. Understanding policy variation in pandemic response across Europe," OSF Preprints mscb8, Center for Open Science.
    2. Giorgio Brosio, Riccardo Pelosi, Roberto Zanola, 2022. "Short-term exit from pandemic restrictions: did European countries' speed converge?," European Journal of Comparative Economics, Cattaneo University (LIUC), vol. 19(2), pages 145-159, December.
    3. Bjørnskov, Christian & Freytag, Andreas & Gutmann, Jerg, 2022. "Coups and the dynamics of media freedom," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 116(C).

    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. Bjørnskov, Christian & Mchangama, Jacob, 2023. "Freedom of Expression and Social Conflict," Working Paper Series 1473, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    2. Christian Bjørnskov & Stefan Voigt, 2022. "Terrorism and emergency constitutions in the Muslim world," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 59(3), pages 305-318, May.
    3. Christian Bjørnskov & Stefan Voigt & Mahdi Khesali, 2022. "Unconstitutional States of Emergency," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(2), pages 455-481.
    4. Jerg Gutmann & Stefan Voigt, 2023. "Militant constitutionalism: a promising concept to make constitutional backsliding less likely?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 195(3), pages 377-404, June.
    5. Christian Bjørnskov & Stefan Voigt, 2022. "Emergencies: on the misuse of government powers," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 190(1), pages 1-32, January.
    6. Bjørnskov, Christian, 2022. "Coups and Economic Crises," Working Paper Series 1449, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    7. Dani Rodrik, 2018. "Populism and the economics of globalization," Journal of International Business Policy, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 1(1), pages 12-33, June.
    8. Daisuke Ikeda & Toan Phan & Timothy Sablik, 2020. "Asset Bubbles and Global Imbalances," Richmond Fed Economic Brief, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, vol. 20, pages 1-4, January.
    9. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2014. "Recovery from Financial Crises: Evidence from 100 Episodes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(5), pages 50-55, May.
    10. Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger & Kyle Handley & Ben Lipsius & Josh Lerner & Javier Miranda, 2021. "The economic effects of private equity buyouts," Jena Economics Research Papers 2021-013, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    11. Roos, Michael W. M., 2015. "The macroeconomics of radical uncertainty," Ruhr Economic Papers 592, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    12. Christoph Trebesch, 2019. "Resolving sovereign debt crises: the role of political risk," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(2), pages 421-444.
    13. Pogany, Peter, 2013. "Thermodynamic Isolation and the New World Order," MPRA Paper 49924, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Prabheesh, K.P. & Anglingkusumo, Reza & Juhro, Solikin M., 2021. "The dynamics of global financial cycle and domestic economic cycles: Evidence from India and Indonesia," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 831-842.
    15. Röhrs, Sigrid & Winter, Christoph, 2017. "Reducing government debt in the presence of inequality," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 1-20.
    16. Thanh C. Nguyen & Vítor Castro & Justine Wood, 2022. "Political environment and financial crises," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(1), pages 417-438, January.
    17. Janice Boucher Breuer & John McDermott, 2019. "Debt And Depression," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 37(4), pages 714-730, October.
    18. Reischmann, Markus, 2016. "Creative accounting and electoral motives: Evidence from OECD countries," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 243-257.
    19. Javier Bianchi & Enrique G. Mendoza, 2018. "Optimal Time-Consistent Macroprudential Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 126(2), pages 588-634.
    20. Stijn Claessens & M. Ayhan Kose, 2013. "Financial Crises: Explanations, Types and Implications," CAMA Working Papers 2013-06, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.

    More about this item


    COVID-19; constitutional emergency provisions; state of emergency;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • K40 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - General
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    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:ilewps:36. 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: .

    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: .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.