EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

The Political Scar of Epidemics

Barry Eichengreen (), Orkun Saka Ⓡ and Cevat Giray Aksoy ()

No 27401, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: What political legacy is bequeathed by national health crises such as epidemics? We show that epidemic exposure in an individual’s “impressionable years” (ages 18 to 25) has a persistent negative effect on confidence in political institutions and leaders. The effect is specific to the impressionable ages, observed only for political institutions and leaders, and does not carry over to other institutions and individuals with one key exception. That exception is strong negative effects on confidence in public health systems, suggesting that the loss of confidence in political institutions and leaders is associated with the (in)effectiveness of a government’s healthcare-related responses to past epidemics. We document this mechanism, showing that weak governments took longer to introduce policy interventions in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, and demonstrating that the loss of political trust is larger for individuals who experienced epidemics under weak governments. Finally, we report evidence suggesting that the epidemic-induced loss of political trust may discourage electoral participation in the long term.

JEL-codes: I1 N0 Z28 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-06
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hea
Note: DAE POL
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (18) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://www.nber.org/papers/w27401.pdf (application/pdf)
Access to the full text is generally limited to series subscribers, however if the top level domain of the client browser is in a developing country or transition economy free access is provided. More information about subscriptions and free access is available at http://www.nber.org/wwphelp.html. Free access is also available to older working papers.

Related works:
Working Paper: The Political Scar of Epidemics (2021) Downloads
Working Paper: The political scar of epidemics (2020) Downloads
Working Paper: The Political Scar of Epidemics (2020) Downloads
Working Paper: The Political Scar of Epidemics (2020) Downloads
Working Paper: The Political Scar of Epidemics (2020) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:nbr:nberwo:27401

Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
http://www.nber.org/papers/w27401
The price is Paper copy available by mail.

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by ().

 
Page updated 2021-11-25
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:27401