COVID-19 Response Strategies: Differences Between Strategies of Male and Female Heads of Governments?

20 Pages Posted: 27 Aug 2020

See all articles by Mette Marie Harder

Mette Marie Harder

Stockholm University - Department of Political Science

Christoffer Harder

Lund University - Department of Biology/Aquatic Ecology

Date Written: July 15, 2020

Abstract

According to news media all over the world, the COVID-19 virus is showcasing gendered leadership transparently to everyone: Male leaders exemplified by Donald Trump and Boris Johnson represent a laid-back, macho-“we are not afraid” attitude and failed to act, whereas female leaders such as Jacinda Ardern applied extensive government measures. Or did they? This study examines whether nations with female heads of government have applied more extensive measures to combat the COVID-19 virus than countries led by men. Using the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker data set, we find no indications that female leaders apply more extensive shutdown measures or health responses over time. However, OECD countries led by women did enact their respective maximum shutdown measures significantly more quickly than OECD countries led by men.

Suggested Citation

Harder, Mette Marie Stæhr and Harder, Christoffer, COVID-19 Response Strategies: Differences Between Strategies of Male and Female Heads of Governments? (July 15, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3679608 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3679608

Mette Marie Stæhr Harder (Contact Author)

Stockholm University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Stockholm, 106 91
Sweden

Christoffer Harder

Lund University - Department of Biology/Aquatic Ecology ( email )

Box 117
Lund, S221 00
Sweden

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