The Determinants of COVID-19 Morbidity and Mortality across Countries

Forthcoming at Scientific Reports

42 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2021 Last revised: 28 Mar 2022

See all articles by Dianna Chang

Dianna Chang

Singapore University of Social Sciences

Xin Chang

Nanyang Business School, Nanyang Technological University

Yu He

Central University of Finance and Economics (CUFE) - School of Economics

Kelvin Jui Keng Tan

University of Queensland - Business School; Financial Research Network (FIRN)

Date Written: December 20, 2021

Abstract

We identify 21 predetermined country-level factors that explain marked variations in weekly COVID-19 morbidity and mortality across 91 countries between January and the end of 2020. Besides factors commonly associated with infectious diseases (e.g., population and tourism activities), we discover a list of country characteristics that shape COVID-19 outcomes. Among demographic-geographic factors, the male-to-female ratio, population density, and urbanization aggravate the severity of COVID-19, while education, temperature, and religious diversity mitigate the impact of the pandemic on morbidity and mortality. For the political-legal dimension, democracy and political corruption are aggravating factors. In contrast, female leadership, the strength of legal systems, and public trust in government significantly reduce infections and deaths. In terms of socio-economic aspects, GDP per capita, income inequality, and happiness (i.e., life satisfaction) lead to worse COVID-19 outcomes. Interestingly, technology advancement increases morbidity but reduces mortality. For healthcare factors, SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) experience and healthcare infrastructure help countries perform better in combating the pandemic.

Keywords: COVID-19; Pandemic; Morbidity and Mortality; Cross-country Determinants

JEL Classification: I10; I18; J10; Z30

Suggested Citation

Chang, Dianna and Chang, Xin and He, Yu and Tan, Kelvin Jui Keng, The Determinants of COVID-19 Morbidity and Mortality across Countries (December 20, 2021). Forthcoming at Scientific Reports, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3824101 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3824101

Dianna Chang

Singapore University of Social Sciences ( email )

461 Clementi Road
599491
Singapore

Xin Chang (Contact Author)

Nanyang Business School, Nanyang Technological University ( email )

Singapore, 639798
Singapore

HOME PAGE: https://personal.ntu.edu.sg/changxin/

Yu He

Central University of Finance and Economics (CUFE) - School of Economics ( email )

Beijing
China

Kelvin Jui Keng Tan

University of Queensland - Business School ( email )

Brisbane, Queensland 4072
Australia

Financial Research Network (FIRN) ( email )

C/- University of Queensland Business School
St Lucia, 4071 Brisbane
Queensland
Australia

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