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Explaining the Diffusion of Covid-19 Transmission Mitigation Policies in OECD Countries

This paper analyzes initial adoption of policies aimed to mitigate disease transmission by OECD countries as a response to the Covid-19 epidemic. We show that Covid-19 policy adoptions are but weakly predicted by the standard epidemiological indicators (confirmed infections cases and deaths) but strongly predicted by standard indicators in the diffusion of policies literature (number of prior countries adopting the same policy, in particular number of neighboring countries). We also examine whether policy adoptions are more rapid or slow given the level of democracy in a given country. We discuss insights for research on international policy diffusion and the emerging strand of research pondering the potential political consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic.


Karl Wennberg is Professor and University Chair of organization and entrepreneurship at Linköping University in Sweden, where he co-founded the interdisciplinary Institute for Analytical Sociology (www.liu.se/ias). He previously held academic posts at the Stockholm School of Economics and Imperial College London Business School, and has been a visiting researcher at Stanford University, Universidad Pablo Olavide, and Griffiths University. He does interdisciplinary research at the intersection of Entrepreneurship, Organizational Sociology and Regional Science. His research also deals broadly with entrepreneurship and industry dynamics (entry, exit and growth), macro outcomes from entrepreneurship, and as of late, work group diversity and organizational outcomes. Karl is on the Editorial Boards of Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Business Venturing and Journal of Business Venturing Insights. He is also senior editor of Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice.

Further Details available at: https://liu.se/en/employee/karwe00

Email address: karl.wennberg@liu.se