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Chiara F. Del Bo
''The role of subnational autonomy in the COVID-19 pandemic: Initial evidence''
( 2021, Vol. 41 No.4 )
During the current pandemic, there is heterogeneity of COVID-19 related casualties across countries. One explanation for this spatially uneven pattern is related to the global nature of the viral spread, which transcends boundaries. While the underlying medical and epidemiological causes are still under investigation, one potentially relevant factor is related to countries' level of centrality of the decision-making process. The paper investigates if there is an association between subnational autonomy and the fatal consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, while also controlling for the localized dimension of restrictive measures. Empirical results suggest that, controlling for relevant economic and demographic factors, countries with higher degrees of subnational autonomy are experiencing higher deaths. While more research is needed to unveil the underlying causal relations, this result suggests that public response aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus in unitary, centralized countries, is associated with better results than interventions in more fragmented countries.
Keywords: Covid-19; subnational autonomy; containment measures
JEL: H7 - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations: General
I1 - Health: General
Manuscript Received : Jun 09 2021 Manuscript Accepted : Nov 11 2021

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