NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Orkun Saka

University of Sussex
Business School
Falmer, Brighton BN1 9RH
United Kingdom

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliations: University of Sussex and LSE

NBER Working Papers and Publications

June 2020The Political Scar of Epidemics
with Cevat Giray Aksoy, Barry Eichengreen: w27401
What will be political legacy of the Coronavirus pandemic? We find 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. We find similar negative effects on confidence in public health systems, suggesting that the loss of confidence in political leadership and institutions is associated with healthcare-related policies at the time of the epidemic. In line with this argument, our results are mostly driven by individuals who experienced epidemics under weak governments with less capacity to act against the epidemic, disappointing their citizens. We provide evidence of this mechanism by showing that weak governments took longer to introduce policy interventions in response to the C...
 
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