Efficiency of Government Policy during the COVID-19 Pandemic

55 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2021 Last revised: 20 Apr 2021

See all articles by Manthos D. Delis

Manthos D. Delis

Montpellier Business School

Maria Iosifidi

Montpellier Business School

Menelaos Tasiou

University of Portsmouth; University of Portsmouth

Date Written: April 7, 2021


Using data envelopment analysis and stochastic frontier models, we introduce a new country-month index of efficiency of government policy in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Our indices are in respect of 81 countries and cover the period from May 2020 to March 2021. Our framework assumes that governments impose stringent policies with the ultimate goal of saving lives. We use policies listed in the Oxford COVID-19 Containment and Health Index as government policy input, and a deaths-based measure as the output. Importantly, we estimate our output to account for country-month variations in the quality of reporting deaths. Based on their average efficiency, the top five countries are Taiwan, Japan, Estonia, Finland, and New Zealand. We also examine the correlates of our new indices and find that the important and positive ones are institutions, democratic principles, political stability, high public spending in health, female participation in the workplace, and economic equality. Within the efficient jurisdictions, the most efficient ones are those with cultural characteristics of low power distance and high patience. The new index and its correlates produce several avenues for future research.

Note: Funding Statement: The authors have received no funding.

Declaration of Interests: The authors have no conflict of interest to disclose.

Keywords: Government efficiency, COVID-19 pandemic, Data envelopment analysis, Stochastic frontiers, Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker, determinants of efficiency

Suggested Citation

Delis, Manthos D. and Iosifidi, Maria and Tasiou, Menelaos and Tasiou, Menelaos, Efficiency of Government Policy during the COVID-19 Pandemic (April 7, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3821814 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3821814

Manthos D. Delis

Montpellier Business School ( email )

2300 Avenue des Moulins
Montpellier, 34080

Maria Iosifidi

Montpellier Business School ( email )

Menelaos Tasiou (Contact Author)

University of Portsmouth ( email )

University House
Winston Churchhill Avenue
Portsmouth, Hampshire PO1 2UP
United Kingdom

University of Portsmouth

United Kingdom

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