Democracy and the Covid-19 Pandemic. A Cross-Country Perspective within Cultural Context
Our paper investigates the influence of democracy upon the spread of COVID-19. For the purpose of our study we use a sample consisting of 185 worldwide countries affected by the spread of the new coronavirus disease (54 high income and 131 low income countries). First, we find that in high income countries, higher levels of democracy reduce the spread of COVID-19 while in the low income countries its influence is exactly the opposite. Second, we find clear evidence that three dimensions of culture (individualism versus collectivism, uncertainty avoidance and masculinity versus femininity) influence people’s behaviour in relation with the spread of COVID-19 in a large manner. This study’s addressability is wide, from regular people to top policymakers, through their common goal of limiting this pandemic and all the negative effects it brings along. Our findings are important as their policy implications suggest that democracies perform badly for the poorest people and what can be done to improve their record.
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