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Virtual Essen Health Economics Seminar


On Monday, July 19 2021, 16:00 - 17:30, Amelie Wuppermann (Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg) will present:

The Toll of Voting in a Pandemic? Municipal Elections and the Spread of COVID-19 in Bavaria

This study investigates whether the municipal elections that were held on March 15, 2020 in Bavaria -- shortly after the WHO declared COVID-19 a global pandemic -- contributed to the spread of COVID-19 cases and COVID-related deaths in this German state. Constructing synthetic controls for each of Bavaria's 96 districts based on the other German districts, we find that about 86 per 100,000 -- over a third of the increase in positive test results between March 15 and April 4 in Bavaria --  cannot be explained by district-level demographic, economic, health or child care characteristics, nor by the distance to Ischgl. Furthermore, within Bavaria, districts with higher voter participation had a higher increase in COVID-19 cases and deaths after the election, even when holding other drivers of the spread of the virus, such as distance to Ischgl and strong-beer festivals constant. Our results are highly robust and suggest that elections can be spreaders of infectious diseases. They call for future research to investigate the role of elections  for the spread of infectious diseases.

Room: Due to the current situation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, the talk will be held in a virtual seminar room. For more information click here.