The Health of Democracies during the Pandemic: Results from a Randomized Survey Experiment
AbstractConcerns have been raised about the "demise of democracy," possibly accelerated by pandemic-related restrictions. Using a survey experiment involving 8,206 respondents from 5 Western democracies, we find that subjects randomly exposed to information regarding civil liberties infringements undertaken by China and South Korea to contain COVID-19 became less willing to sacrifice rights and more worried about their long-term erosion. However, our treatment did not increase support for democratic procedures more generally despite our prior evidence that pandemic-related health risks diminished such support. These results suggest that the start of the COVID-19 crisis was a particularly vulnerable time for democracies.
CitationAlsan, Marcella, Luca Braghieri, Sarah Eichmeyer, Minjeong Joyce Kim, Stefanie Stantcheva, and David Y. Yang. 2023. "The Health of Democracies during the Pandemic: Results from a Randomized Survey Experiment." AEA Papers and Proceedings, 113: 572-76. DOI: 10.1257/pandp.20231093
- D72 Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
- H52 National Government Expenditures and Education
- I12 Health Behavior
- I18 Health: Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
- K38 Human Rights Law; Gender Law; Animal Rights Law