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The Economic and Institutional Determinants of COVID-19 Mortality

Ivanaj, Ernest and Oukhallou, Youssef (2020): The Economic and Institutional Determinants of COVID-19 Mortality.

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Abstract

This paper examines the potential influence of economic and institutional factors on the death toll of the novel coronavirus pandemic. In this endeavour, we estimate a variety of functions using the Poisson Pseudo-Maximum Likelihood method (PPML) with cross-sectional data from 107 countries. Economic factors are represented alternatively through GDP per capita and unemployment, while the multiple aspects of institutional quality are encompassed through different indices. Our results suggest that economic variables do not directly affect the death rates of COVID-19 while institutional variables such as regulatory quality, government effectiveness and corruption control have a significant and consistent downward correlation with COVID-19 mortality across countries. These results support the claim that investing in better institutions helps mitigate the deadliness of infectious diseases.

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