Gaps between official and excess Covid-19 mortality measures: The effects of institutional quality and vaccinations

Joshua Aizenman, Alex Cukierman, Yothin Jinjarak, Sameer Nair-Desai, Weining Xin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We evaluate quartile rankings of countries during the Covid-19 pandemic using both official (confirmed) and excess mortality data. By December 2021, the quartile rankings of three-fifths of the countries differ when ranked by excess vs. official mortality. Countries that are ‘doing substantially better’ in the excess mortality are characterized by higher urban population shares; higher GDP/Capita; and higher scores on institutional and policy variables. We perform two regressions in which the ratio of Cumulative Excess to Official Covid-19 mortalities (E/O ratio) is regressed on covariates. In a narrow study, controlling for GDP/Capita and vaccination rates, by December 2021 the E/O ratio was smaller in countries with higher vaccination rates. In a broad study, adding institutional and policy variables, the E/O ratio was smaller in countries with higher degree of voice and accountability. The arrival of vaccines in 2021 and voice and accountability had a discernible association on the E/O ratio.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105990
JournalEconomic Modelling
Volume116
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2022

Keywords

  • Excess mortality
  • Official mortality
  • Vaccines
  • Voice and accountability

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