Why do developing countries not need a dictatorship

Are dictatorships better at fighting Covid? It doesn't look like it

Are dictatorships better at fighting pandemics? Do poorer countries have to fear catastrophe while richer countries buy the health of their citizens? Those were the anxious questions that many asked themselves in the course of 2020. The Australian think tank Lowy Institute has now compared international data from 98 countries for the first time - and has come to an astonishing result: Neither the form of government nor the prosperity of states had a significant influence on whether the pandemic was fighting over the course of the past year proceeded with or without success. But there is also criticism of the data.

Overall, the institute comes to a sobering result. "Some countries coped with the pandemic better than others - but most of them are only competing for relative performance weaknesses with one another," it says. In other words: Very few have achieved really good results in all categories (total number of infections and deaths, proportion per million inhabitants, and total number and rate of tests) - and not just those that are slightly better than those in other countries . New Zealand is in the lead, Vietnam and Taiwan behind. The best EU country is Cyprus (fifth place), just ahead of Rwanda.

Small is better

Austria is only in 42nd place. The country would have an advantage in the only category that actually showed significant differences: smaller countries would have got the pandemic under control measurably better than large ones, according to the analysis of the institute.

Hypothesis for the reasons: Large states would have a hard time setting up internal borders, while smaller countries are also smaller units of infection - so one is better protected from the spread of regional sources of infection because the borders are drawn closer. That would also explain Austria's result, which lies in the Schengen area and whose borders are difficult to close hermetically.

Wealth is not a protection

On the other hand, the verdict on the question of government systems is relatively reassuring. Dictatorships would have got the virus under control more quickly. Throughout 2020, however, the democratic systems were even superior - even if there was another slump in the EU and the USA in winter. And even if China - undoubtedly a major flaw in the study - was not included in the study due to the lack of credible data. Noticeable: hybrid systems performed poorly almost all of the time.

Relative wealth, on the other hand, only turned out to be an advantage at times. By the end of 2020, the rich countries had completely fallen back to the level of corona control of the developing countries. However, the study lacks data on how countries are coping with the economic consequences of the pandemic. (mesc, January 28, 2021)