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Sci Rep . Democratic quality and excess mortality during the COVID-19 pandemic

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  • Sci Rep . Democratic quality and excess mortality during the COVID-19 pandemic

    Sci Rep

    . 2024 Apr 4;14(1):7948.
    doi: 10.1038/s41598-024-55523-6. Democratic quality and excess mortality during the COVID-19 pandemic

    José-Jesús Martín-Martín 1 , Manuel Correa 2 , Araceli-María Rojo-Gallego-Burín 3 , María-Teresa Sánchez-Martínez 1 , Luisa Delgado-Márquez 1 , María-Ángeles Ortega-Almón 1


    The aim of this study is to analyse the relationship between democratic quality and excess mortality produced in the year 2020 before COVID-19 vaccinations were generalised. Using cross-sectional data from 80 countries on five continents, multiple linear regression models between excess mortality, the general democracy index and its disaggregation into five categories: electoral process and pluralism, government functioning, political participation, political culture and civil liberties were estimated. The analysis also considered, public health spending per capita, overweight inhabitants, the average temperature of the country, population over 65 years of age, The KOF Globalisation Index, and the Gross National Income per capita as control variables. It was possible to establish a strong inverse association between excess mortality per million inhabitants and the general democracy index and four of its five categories. There was a particularly strong relationship between excess mortality and the political culture dimension (-326.50, p < 0.001). The results suggest that the higher the democratic quality of the political institutions of a State and particularly of their political culture the more improved the response and management of the pandemic was in preventing deaths and protecting their citizens more effectively. Conversely, countries with lower democracy index values have higher excess mortality. Quality democratic political institutions provide more effective public health policies in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Keywords: COVID-19; Coronavirus; Democracy index; Democratic quality; Efficient autocracies; Excess mortality.

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