Pandemic Governance Requires Understanding Socioeconomic Variation in Government and Citizen Responses to COVID-19
20 Pages Posted: 5 Jul 2020
Date Written: June 2020
As governments respond to COVID-19 with drastic measures to curb transmission, understanding how socio-economic and political factors condition both government and citizen responses is critical. Analysis of over 160 countries shows that governments adopted restrictive measures at the same moment, in contrast to World Health Organization advice recommending that measures be phased in as the disease spread. While this herd behavior makes it difficult to identify straightforward relationships between country characteristics, such as the nature of the political system, and the speed and degree of response, low-income countries seem to differ sharply from wealthier nations in both the speed at which they adopt restrictive measures and the effect such measures have on citizens’ mobility. Going forward, further research into socio-economic and political factors will be needed to tailor public health advice.
Keywords: governance, COVID-19, World Health Organization, pandemic
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