The Determinants of COVID-19 Morbidity and Mortality across Countries
39 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2021 Last revised: 11 May 2021
Date Written: May 11, 2021
We identify 19 predetermined country-level factors significantly related to weekly COVID-19 morbidity and mortality across 109 countries between January and the end of 2020. Aggravating factors, which increase infections and deaths, include population, the median age of the population, the male-to-female ratio, population density, democracy, political corruption, GDP per capita, income inequality, international tourism activities, and life satisfaction and happiness. Mitigating factors, which reduce morbidity and mortality, include temperature, the education level, religious diversity, media freedom, female leadership, the strength of legal systems, public trust in government, SARS experiences, and healthcare infrastructure. The number of COVID-19 tests is positively (negatively) related to confirmed infection (death) cases. Dominance analysis shows that the top five determinants, which collectively explain approximately 70% of the cross-country variation in morbidity, are population, international tourism activities, media freedom, SARS experiences, and the median age of the population.
Keywords: COVID-19; Pandemic; Morbidity and Mortality; Cross-country Determinants
JEL Classification: I10; I18; J10; Z30
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