Variations in Governmental Responses to and the Diffusion of COVID-19: The Role of Political Decentralization

16 Pages Posted: 4 Aug 2020

See all articles by Chen Cheng

Chen Cheng

Johns Hopkins University - Carey Business School

Jiasheng Li

Tsinghua University - Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management

Chuanchuan Zhang

School of Economics, Zhejiang University

Date Written: August 1, 2020

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Cheng, Chen and Li, Jiasheng and Zhang, Chuanchuan, Variations in Governmental Responses to and the Diffusion of COVID-19: The Role of Political Decentralization (August 1, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3665067 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3665067

Chen Cheng

Johns Hopkins University - Carey Business School ( email )

100 International Drive
Baltimore, MD 21202
United States

Jiasheng Li

Tsinghua University - Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management ( email )

Beijing
China

Chuanchuan Zhang (Contact Author)

School of Economics, Zhejiang University ( email )

Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310058
China

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