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Yuyang He and Dominik Naeher
''Do democracies perform worse during pandemics? Evidence from 2020''
( 2022, Vol. 42 No.3 )
Existing evidence in the emerging literature studying the performance of different political regimes in handling the Covid-19 pandemic is mixed and inconclusive. This paper contributes new insights by using a country-level difference-in-differences estimation strategy to study the effects of democracy on different socio-economic outcomes during the first year of the pandemic. We find that democracies suffered stronger reductions in GDP growth rates and larger increases in unemployment rates than autocracies. However, the better performance of autocracies in these economic indicators does not seem to translate into higher levels of citizens' self-reported happiness. Unlike previous studies, we find that both types of political regimes featured similar increases in mortality rates, on average, in 2020.
Keywords: Democracy, Public health, Covid-19, Pandemic, Difference-in-differences estimation
JEL: H1 - Structure and Scope of Government: General
P4 - Other Economic Systems: General
Manuscript Received : Mar 11 2022 Manuscript Accepted : Sep 30 2022

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