Covid-19, Government Performance, and Democracy: Survey Experimental Evidence from 12 Countries

75 Pages Posted: 29 Nov 2021 Last revised: 21 Feb 2022

See all articles by Michael Becher

Michael Becher

IE University

Nicolas Longuet Marx

Columbia University

Vincent Pons

Harvard University - Business School (HBS)

Sylvain Brouard

Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - Center for Political Research

Martial Foucault

Sciences Po - Center for Political Research (CEVIPOF)

Vincenzo Galasso

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Bocconi University; University of Bocconi - Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research (IGIER); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Bocconi University - Baffi Carefin Centre

Eric Kerrouche

Sciences Po

Sandra León Alfonso

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Daniel Stegmueller

Duke University - Department of Political Science

Date Written: November 2021

Abstract

Beyond its immediate impact on public health and the economy, the COVID-19 pandemic has put democracy under stress. While a common view is that people should blame the government rather than the political system for bad crisis management, an opposing view is that dissatisfaction with government performance may cause deeper dissatisfaction with democracy even in consolidated democratic regimes. We use a pre-registered survey and experiment covering 12 countries and 22,500 respondents to examine the impact of the pandemic on public attitudes about incumbent governments, the functioning of democracy and support for different types of regimes. To estimate causal effects, we leverage experimental treatments using an instrumental variable design. We find that dissatisfaction with the government, which is equally driven by economic and health considerations, decreases satisfaction with how democracy works. However, it does not translate into an embrace of non-democratic regime types.

Suggested Citation

Becher, Michael and Longuet Marx, Nicolas and Pons, Vincent and Brouard, Sylvain and Foucault, Martial and Galasso, Vincenzo and Galasso, Vincenzo and Kerrouche, Eric and León Alfonso, Sandra and Stegmueller, Daniel, Covid-19, Government Performance, and Democracy: Survey Experimental Evidence from 12 Countries (November 2021). NBER Working Paper No. w29514, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3973292

Michael Becher (Contact Author)

IE University ( email )

Paseo de la Castellana, 259
Madrid, 28046
Spain

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.ie.edu/university/about/faculty/michael-becher/

Nicolas Longuet Marx

Columbia University ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

Vincent Pons

Harvard University - Business School (HBS) ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 270C
Boston, MA 02163
United States

Sylvain Brouard

Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - Center for Political Research ( email )

105 blvd. Raspail
Paris, 75006
France

Martial Foucault

Sciences Po - Center for Political Research (CEVIPOF) ( email )

98 rue de l'Université
Paris, 75007
France

Vincenzo Galasso

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Bocconi University ( email )

Via Roetgen 1
20136 Milan, MI 20136
Italy

University of Bocconi - Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research (IGIER)

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, 20136
Italy
+39 02 5836 5319 (Phone)
+39 02 5836 5318 (Fax)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Bocconi University - Baffi Carefin Centre ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan
Italy

Eric Kerrouche

Sciences Po ( email )

28 Rue des Saint-Peres
Paris, Paris 75006
France

Sandra León Alfonso

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid ( email )

CL. de Madrid 126
Madrid, Madrid 28903
Spain

Daniel Stegmueller

Duke University - Department of Political Science ( email )

140 Science Drive (Gross Hall), 2nd floor
Duke University Mailcode: 90204
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.daniel-stegmueller.com

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