Seoul Journal of Economics
[ Article ]
Seoul Journal of Economics - Vol. 33, No. 4, pp.561-600
ISSN: 1225-0279 (Print)
Print publication date 30 Nov 2020
Received 29 Jul 2020 Revised 08 Sep 2020 Accepted 09 Sep 2020

Global Spread and Socio-Economic Determinants of Covid-19 Pandemic

Varinder Jain ; Lakhwinder Singh
Varinder Jain, Assistant Professor, Institute of Development Studies, 8-B, Jhalana Institutional Area, Jaipur-302004, Rajasthan, India, Tel: +91-6377953699
Lakhwinder Singh, Professor, Department of Economics, Punjabi University, Patiala-147002, Punjab, India, Tel: +91-9888755642

JEL Classification: F63, F68, H51, I15, J18


Covid-19 pandemic being highly lethal has spread so swiftly across the globe that it has infected more than three million persons across 209 countries within a short time-span of 107 days since January 13, 2020. Given such situation, this paper examines differences across countries in terms of Covid-19 infections, testing and deaths. A novel approach has been developed to examine socio-economic variables that determine a nation’s exposure to Covid-19 infections and deaths. The most important methodological contribution has been to devise an objective criterion for identifying the best and worst performing nations in terms of controlling infection and mortality of human beings. An important finding emerging from the regression analysis establishes the fact that democracy and good governance plays significant role in curtailing mortality rates. But, at the same time, there also takes place a rise in infected patients in the presence of democracy and higher per capita income. These inferences are found to be robust and replicated on subsequent regression analysis of 24.33 million infections by August 27, 2020. The policy implication that results from the analysis is that in the absence of definite treatment (like vaccine), physical / social distancing, masks and hand-hygiene etc. can save humans from infections and mortality.


Covid-19, Pandemic, Global spread, Determinants, Infections, Mortality, Health economics, public policy


The authors are grateful to Professor Keun Lee and anonymous referees of the journal for helpful comments and suggestions on the earlier version that helped in inserting several improvements. The errors and omissions that remain is the sole responsibility of the authors.


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