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Leading the fight against the pandemic: does gender ‘really’ matter?

Garikipati, S. and Kambhampati, U. (2021) Leading the fight against the pandemic: does gender ‘really’ matter? Feminist Economics. ISSN 1466-4372

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/13545701.2021.1874614


Since the start of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the relationship between national women leaders and their effectiveness in handling the COVID-19 crisis has received much media attention. This paper scrutinizes this association by considering income, demography, health infrastructure, gender norms, and other national characteristics and asks if women's leadership is associated with fewer COVID-19 cases and deaths in the first few months of the pandemic. The paper also examines differences in the policy responses of leaders by gender. Using a constructed dataset for 194 countries, it uses a variety of economic and sociodemographic variables to match nearest neighbors. The findings show that COVID-19 outcomes, especially deaths, are better in countries led by women and may be explained by the timing of lockdowns. The study uses insights from behavioral studies and leadership literature to speculate on the sources of these gender differences as well as on their implications.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Politics, Economics and International Relations > Economics
ID Code:96554
Publisher:Taylor & Francis

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