Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Can Innovation Save Us? Understanding the Role of Innovation in Mitigating the Covid-19 Pandemic in ASEAN-5 Economies

Layos, Jerk Joshua Meire and Pena, Paul John (2020): Can Innovation Save Us? Understanding the Role of Innovation in Mitigating the Covid-19 Pandemic in ASEAN-5 Economies.

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Abstract

The novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic raises the question of whether innovation can save humanity. Indeed, as it always has, innovation is the path towards finding solutions such as vaccines, treatments and policies that mitigate the further spread of the virus. Since the announcement of a global pandemic on March 12, 2020, countries with relatively high levels of innovation remain high on the world rankings on new cases and deaths while countries considered relatively lower in innovation are not. We test the relationship between innovation systems and the ability of its pre-epidemic state to address the pandemic. We use a two-step System Generalized Method of Moments (GMM) to test this relationship using cases from the ASEAN-5 economies and their respective levels of innovation as reported in the Global Innovation Index. We find that the relationship between the level of innovation and a country’s ability to respond to the crisis to be significant and positive. We also find that search interest, an indicator of market response within an innovation context, to have a significant negative relationship with crisis management. We provide some preliminary analyses and insights on these two key findings as well as policy recommendations concerning innovation systems.

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