Nations led by women implemented lockdown orders and experienced a lower death toll during the COVID-19 pandemic, compared to their male counterparts, a new study finds. The results appeared in SSRN Electronic Journal.
The study, conducted by the University of Liverpool, included data analysis of 194 nations, from the start of the pandemic up until May 2020.
“Our results clearly indicate that women leaders reacted more quickly and decisively in the face of potential fatalities. In almost all cases, they locked down earlier than male leaders in similar circumstances,” the study found.
“While this may have longer-term economic implications, it has certainly helped these countries to save lives, as evidenced by the significantly lower number of deaths in these countries.”
For their study, a number of variables were taken into consideration when analyzing the raw data, including GDP, annual health expenditure per capita, openness to foreign travel, total population count, population density, and general level of gender equality.
According to researchers, what was referred to as the nearest neighbor analysis was used to compare female-led nations with other countries run by men with similar demographics.
“Nearest neighbor analysis clearly confirms that when women-led countries are compared to countries similar to them along a range of characteristics, they have performed better, experiencing fewer cases as well as fewer deaths.”
The study uncovered that nations led by women implemented their lockdown orders much earlier and avoided a higher death toll.
“Our findings show that COVID-outcomes are systematically better in countries led by women and, to some extent, this may be explained by the proactive and coordinated policy responses adopted by them,” the co-authors concluded in their findings.
“Our hope is that this article will serve as a starting point to illuminate the discussion on the influence of national leaders in explaining the differences in country COVID-outcomes.”