Economic shutdowns varied in timing around the world in response to COVID-19. What determines when shutdowns are introduced and their duration? Political leaders likely weighed the benefits and costs of shutdown policies and how it would affect their re-election chances.
If there were to be another pandemic in the future, how would a leader’s response depend on their circumstances leading up to the crisis? I want to build a theoretical model for understanding political leaders’ decision to shut down the economy based on their current circumstances and future prospects for maintaining power. If we develop an understanding about leader’s motivations when choosing to shut down the economy, this would provide insight into which countries around the world may shut down too late or not maintain the shutdown long enough to prevent greater casualties.
Image: Courtesy of Andrew Jonelis