Variations in Governmental Responses to and the Diffusion of COVID-19: The Role of Political Decentralization
16 Pages Posted: 4 Aug 2020
Date Written: August 1, 2020
Policymakers have implemented a wide range of non-pharmaceutical interventions to fight the spread of COVID-19. Such policies vary substantially across regions or countries and, therefore, lead to variations in the diffusion patterns and fatality rates associated with this virus. We show that political decentralization is closely related to both the spread of COVID-19 and government responses to this spread. Specifically, we find that the disease tends to spread at higher speeds and result in more confirmed cases and deaths in countries that are more decentralized. We further show that it takes longer for more decentralized countries to implement any non-pharmaceutical interventions against COVID-19 and that more decentralized countries tend to adopt policies that are more targeted as opposed to being more generalized.
Keywords: COVID-19; Political decentralization; Non-pharmaceutical interventions
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