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Institutional and cultural determinants of speed of government responses during COVID-19 pandemic

School of Business, Central South University, Changsha; University of Trier; WHU-Otto-Beisheim School of Management

Actions in the Corona crisis were influenced by non-democratic or autocratic structures. In addition, cultural factors played a dependent role. That is the result of a study.

  • Disziplin: Sozial, Weitere
  • Forschungsmethode: Quantitativ
  • Forschungsdesign: Sekundäranalyse, Weitere Daten (z. B. Einzelinterview, Web Scraping, Laborwerte etc.)
  • Erhebungsstatus: Erhebung abgeschlossen, Ergebnisse veröffentlicht, Daten zugänglich

Ziele der Studie

The global outbreak of COVID-19 presents an unprecedented challenge for government performance and governance in general. Regardless of their economic and social conditions, almost all countries in the world were affected by the outbreak. Government responses varied in many ways. One of the most obvious differences was in the degree to which the various activities of the citizens were restricted. Examples of restrictions include school closures, travel restrictions and closure of shops and restaurants. Given that all countries were affected by the same pandemic, this situation essentially resembles a natural experiment, which allows to study what determines different government responses.


In order to assess the responsiveness of government restrictions, the researchers take the Oxford COVID-19 stringency index from 2020/1/1 to 2020/4/30. The Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Stringency Index (from here on simply “stringency index”) is a composite measure tracking policy on school closures, workplace closures, canceling public events, restrictions on gatherings, closing public transport, travel bans and other similar restrictions. Depending on the intensity of the above restrictions in each country, the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker (OxCGRT) scores 0-4 for every restriction, where zero means recommended restriction but four means mandatory restriction. After converting these restrictions into ordinal values, each value is adjusted according to the maximum value, and converted into a score between 0-100, and then the average score of these restrictions is calculated as the government stringency index.


The datasets analyzed during the current study are not publicly available due to the use of the interviews in other contexts but are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.