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The Interplay of Policy, Institutions, and Culture in the Time of Covid-19 (English)

Leveraging data in 147 countries from the Johns Hopkins University, the World Bank, and other sources, we investigate how the COVID-19 pandemic spread and how the mortality rates are associated with preexisting vulnerabilities, the government’s mobility restriction policy, institutions (democracy), and culture (i.e., trust and individualistic culture). While delay in domestic mobility restrictions is not significantly associated with pandemic outcomes, increasing delay in restricting international mobility is associated with higher pandemic mortality rate. Some pre-existing vulnerabilities are positively associated with the spread of the pandemic but not the mortality rate. However, when vulnerabilities are accompanied with delay in domestic mobility restrictions, the pandemic has higher mortality. Democracy is associated with lower policy delay in restricting mobility, lower pandemic mortality rate, and features better protection of the vulnerable population from pandemic harms. However, delay in domestic mobility restrictions have more adverse effects in democratic countries. Trust is not associated with worse pandemic outcomes, but its combinations with policy delay and obesity are. More individualistic countries do not feature different pandemic outcomes. However, in such countries, government delay in domestic mobility restrictions is associated with significantly higher pandemic mortality rate, and the marginal effects of the share of elderly on pandemic spread is greater.




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Fang,Sheng Peng,Mike W. Xu,L. Colin Yi,Yuanyuan

The Interplay of Policy, Institutions, and Culture in the Time of Covid-19 (English). Policy Research working paper,no. WPS 9470,COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group.