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Why Do COVID-19 Fatality Rates Differ Across Countries? An Explorative Cross-country Study Based on Select Indicators

Arindam Banik (), Tirthankar Nag, Sahana Roy Chowdhury and Rajashri Chatterjee

Global Business Review, 2020, vol. 21, issue 3, 607-625

Abstract: Abstract In this article, we analyse the factors that determine the fatality rates across 29 economies spread across both the developing and developed world. Recent emerging literature and expert opinions in popular media have indicated various factors that may explain cross-country difference in fatality rates. These factors range from access to public health infrastructure, BCG vaccination policies, demographic structure, restrictive policy interventions and the weather. In addition, articles are examining different kinds of fatality rates that can be explained. Progressing beyond fragmented databases and anecdotal evidence, we have developed a database for such factors, have explored various econometric models to test the explanatory power of these factors in explaining several kinds of fatality rates. Based on available data, our study reveals that factors such as public health system, population age structure, poverty level and BCG vaccination are powerful contributory factors in determining fatality rates. Interactions between factors such as poverty level and BCG vaccination provide interesting insights into the complex interplay of factors. Our analysis suggests that poor citizens’ access to the public healthcare system are worse in many countries irrespective of whether they are developed or developing countries.

Keywords: COVID-19; China; Europe; fatality rate; BCG vaccination policy; aged population; South Korea; Germany; USA; public health (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1177/0972150920929897

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