Partisanship and Compliance with Government Measures: Evidence from Belgium During the Covid-19 Pandemic

24 Pages Posted: 30 Apr 2020 Last revised: 13 Jul 2020

See all articles by Arthur Dyevre

Arthur Dyevre

Leuven Centre for Empirical Jurisprudence

Timothy Yu-Cheong Yeung

Faculty of Law, KU Leuven

Date Written: July 13, 2020

Abstract

Partisanship, especially in democratic regimes, may undermine compliance with government policy. We investigate this hypothesis by studying the relationship between electoral support for the minority government coalition and daily growth in covid-19 infections across Belgian municipal districts after the imposition of social-distancing measures. Applying spatial autoregressive modelling, we find that higher support for the parties in the minority government is associated with lower growth in reported infections in the weeks coinciding with the peak of the coronavirus outbreak. These results persist after controlling for median income, population, population density, change in mobility and week and weekday and region fixed effects. Though we find a small far-right effect, we attribute the growth differential to ideological alignment rather than to intrinsic voter characteristics.

Keywords: partisanship, public health, covid-19, Belgium, social distancing

JEL Classification: I18, I12, H12, K42

Suggested Citation

Dyevre, Arthur and Yeung, Timothy Yu-Cheong, Partisanship and Compliance with Government Measures: Evidence from Belgium During the Covid-19 Pandemic (July 13, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3587957 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3587957

Arthur Dyevre (Contact Author)

Leuven Centre for Empirical Jurisprudence ( email )

Tiensestraat 41
Leuven, B-3000
Belgium
+32492971322 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.arthurdyevre.org

Timothy Yu-Cheong Yeung

Faculty of Law, KU Leuven ( email )

Tiensestraat 45
Leuven, 3000
Belgium

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