Corona Politics: The Cost of Mismanaging Pandemics

30 Pages Posted: 10 Sep 2020

See all articles by Helios Herrera

Helios Herrera

University of Warwick

Guillermo Ordoñez

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Maximilian Konradt

University of Geneva - Graduate Institute, Geneva (IHEID)

Christoph Trebesch

Kiel Institute for the World Economy; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: September 10, 2020

Abstract

The Covid-19 pandemic is a major test for governments around the world. We study the political consequences of (mis-)managing the Covid crisis by constructing a high-frequency dataset of government approval for 35 countries. In the first weeks after the outbreak, approval rates for incumbents increase strongly, consistent with a global “rally around the flag” effect. Approval, however, drops again in countries where Covid cases continue to grow. This is especially true for governments that do not implement stringent policies to control the number of infections. Overall, the evidence suggests that loose pandemic policies are politically costly. Governments that placed more weight on health rather than short-term economic outcomes obtained higher approval.

Keywords: Political Popularity, Political Economy, Crisis Management, Covid-19

JEL Classification: D72; H12; F50

Suggested Citation

Herrera, Helios and Ordoñez, Guillermo and Konradt, Maximilian and Trebesch, Christoph, Corona Politics: The Cost of Mismanaging Pandemics (September 10, 2020). PIER Working Paper No. 20-033, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3690490 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3690490

Helios Herrera

University of Warwick ( email )

Gibbet Hill Rd.
Coventry, West Midlands CV4 8UW
United Kingdom

Guillermo Ordoñez (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics ( email )

Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science
133 South 36th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6297
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Maximilian Konradt

University of Geneva - Graduate Institute, Geneva (IHEID) ( email )

Geneva
Switzerland

Christoph Trebesch

Kiel Institute for the World Economy ( email )

P.O. Box 4309
Kiel, Schleswig-Hosltein D-24100
Germany

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

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