Inequality and Support for Government Responses to Covid-19

31 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2020

See all articles by Hai-Anh Dang

Hai-Anh Dang

World Bank - Development Data Group (DECDG); IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Indiana University Bloomington - School of Public & Environmental Affairs (SPEA); Global Labor Organization (GLO); Vietnam National University Ha Noi; Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS) - Centre for Analysis and Forecasting

Edmund J. Malesky

Duke University, Political Science

Cuong Viet Nguyen

(NEU) National Economics University of Vietnam

Abstract

Despite a rich literature studying the impact of inequality on policy outcomes, there has been limited effort to bring these insights into the debates about comparative support for government responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. We fill in this gap by analyzing rich survey data from six countries spanning different income levels and geographical locations — China, Italy, Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States. We find that poorer individuals are less supportive of government responses, and that poorest individuals are least supportive. Furthermore, poorer individuals residing in more economically unequal countries offer even less government support. We also find that both economic and non-economic factors could affect the poor's decisions to support stringent government policies. These findings suggest that greater transfers to the poor may ameliorate their resistance, increase support for strict policies, and may reduce the potential deepening of social inequalities caused by the pandemic.

Keywords: COVID-19, inequality, income quintiles, poverty

JEL Classification: D0, H0, I3, O1

Suggested Citation

Dang, Hai-Anh H. and Malesky, Edmund J. and Nguyen, Cuong Viet, Inequality and Support for Government Responses to Covid-19. IZA Discussion Paper No. 13816, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3722396

Hai-Anh H. Dang (Contact Author)

World Bank - Development Data Group (DECDG) ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/haianhhdang/

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

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Indiana University Bloomington - School of Public & Environmental Affairs (SPEA) ( email )

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Vietnam National University Ha Noi ( email )

Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS) - Centre for Analysis and Forecasting ( email )

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Edmund J. Malesky

Duke University, Political Science ( email )

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Cuong Viet Nguyen

(NEU) National Economics University of Vietnam ( email )

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Hai Ba Trung District
Hanoi, Hanoi 10000
Vietnam

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