Health-system equity, egalitarian democracy and COVID-19 outcomes
An empirical analysis
THIS ARTICLE IS ON EARLY VIEW. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a spate of studies showing a close connection between inequitable access to health care, welfare services and adverse outcomes from the pandemic. Others have argued that democratic governments have generally failed relative to more autocratic ones, simply because autocrats can make the hard choices required for stemming the spread of viruses.
We address this question by asking whether more ‘egalitarian’ forms of democracy matter, given that they contain more equitable health-care access and societal infrastructure, such as social capital and trust.
We use standard regression techniques, including instrumental variables analysis addressing endogeneity on COVID-19 testing and deaths data as of the end of May and beginning of September. We use novel data from the Varieties of Democracy Project on health-system equity and egalitarian democracy.