Discussion Paper Details

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Title: The Political Economy of Early COVID-19 Interventions in US States

Author(s): Martin Gonzalez-Eiras and Dirk Niepelt

Publication Date: January 2022

Keyword(s): COVID-19, lockdown and Politics

Programme Area(s): Political Economy and Public Economics

Abstract: We investigate how politico-economic factors shaped government responses to the spread of COVID-19. Our simple framework uses epidemiological, economic and politico-economic arguments. Confronting the theory with US state level data we find strong evidence for partisanship even when we control for fundamentals including the electorate's political views. Moreover, we detect an important role for the proximity of elections which we interpret as indicative of career concerns. Finally, we find suggestive evidence for complementarities between voluntary activity reductions and government imposed restrictions.

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Bibliographic Reference

Gonzalez-Eiras, M and Niepelt, D. 2022. 'The Political Economy of Early COVID-19 Interventions in US States'. London, Centre for Economic Policy Research.