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Containing a pandemic with public actions and public trust: the Kerala story

Jyotsna Jalan and Arijit Sen ()
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Arijit Sen: Indian Institute of Management Calcutta

Indian Economic Review, 2020, vol. 55, issue 1, No 6, 105-124

Abstract: Abstract We study the Covid pandemic in the Indian state of Kerala, and document the state’s remarkable success in containing the pandemic’s first wave. By identifying Kerala’s initial conditions when it was hit by the pandemic, and different components of the state’s Covid policy, we conclude: While being subject to resource constraints faced by an Indian state located in a federal structure, Kerala contained its first Covid wave by preemptively formulating a comprehensive set of public actions—government actions that were supported and complemented by the state’s citizens. This was achieved by leveraging and reinforcing the citizen’s public trust in the state. Specifically, the state’s pandemic response contained supportive measures to ensure that poor lives were not pitted against rich lives; rather, the aim was to protect all lives and livelihoods.

Keywords: Covid-19; Pandemic; Kerala; Public trust; Public actions (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H8 I3 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1007/s41775-020-00087-1

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