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A dichotomy between democracy and personal freedom on the spread of COVID-19

A dichotomy between democracy and personal freedom on the spread of COVID-19 The authors analyze the effects of political freedom and personal freedom on the spread of COVID-19 in a cross-country study. The authors also investigate how income inequality, urbanization and previous experience with a similar respiratory epidemic/pandemic, such as SARS and MERS, affect the spread of COVID-19.Design/methodology/approachThe authors employ data from 102 countries to examine the relationship of countries' economic and sociopolitical factors, such as political freedom and personal freedom and their COVID-19 infection cases per million population at 120 days, 150 days and 180 days after the reported 10th infection case. The authors also include the log term of real GDP per capita to control for counties' economic development and regional dummies to control for regional-specific effects.FindingsResults of this study show that personal freedom, rather than democracy, has a significant positive effect on countries' COVID-19 infection cases. On the contrary, democracy has a negative impact on the infection rate. The authors also find that socioeconomic factors such as higher income inequality and urbanization rate adversely affect the COVID-19 infection cases. A larger older population is associated with fewer infection cases, holding everything else equal. Previous experiences with the coronavirus crisis affect countries only at the 120 days mark. Real GDP per capita has no significant effect.Originality/valueThe main contribution of this paper is to jointly explore personal freedom, which implies a social framework with more emphasis on self-value and self-realization and political freedom, that is, democracy. The authors show that it is personal freedom, rather than democracy, that contributes to higher COVID-19 infection cases. Democracy, on the other hand, reduces the number of infection cases.Peer reviewThe peer review history for this article is available at: https://publons.com/publon/10.1108/IJSE-12-2021-0769 http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Social Economics Emerald Publishing

A dichotomy between democracy and personal freedom on the spread of COVID-19

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References (30)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
0306-8293
DOI
10.1108/ijse-12-2021-0769
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The authors analyze the effects of political freedom and personal freedom on the spread of COVID-19 in a cross-country study. The authors also investigate how income inequality, urbanization and previous experience with a similar respiratory epidemic/pandemic, such as SARS and MERS, affect the spread of COVID-19.Design/methodology/approachThe authors employ data from 102 countries to examine the relationship of countries' economic and sociopolitical factors, such as political freedom and personal freedom and their COVID-19 infection cases per million population at 120 days, 150 days and 180 days after the reported 10th infection case. The authors also include the log term of real GDP per capita to control for counties' economic development and regional dummies to control for regional-specific effects.FindingsResults of this study show that personal freedom, rather than democracy, has a significant positive effect on countries' COVID-19 infection cases. On the contrary, democracy has a negative impact on the infection rate. The authors also find that socioeconomic factors such as higher income inequality and urbanization rate adversely affect the COVID-19 infection cases. A larger older population is associated with fewer infection cases, holding everything else equal. Previous experiences with the coronavirus crisis affect countries only at the 120 days mark. Real GDP per capita has no significant effect.Originality/valueThe main contribution of this paper is to jointly explore personal freedom, which implies a social framework with more emphasis on self-value and self-realization and political freedom, that is, democracy. The authors show that it is personal freedom, rather than democracy, that contributes to higher COVID-19 infection cases. Democracy, on the other hand, reduces the number of infection cases.Peer reviewThe peer review history for this article is available at: https://publons.com/publon/10.1108/IJSE-12-2021-0769

Journal

International Journal of Social EconomicsEmerald Publishing

Published: Feb 27, 2023

Keywords: COVID-19; Pandemic; Personal freedom; Democracy; Regional effects; I14; H12; F50

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