The superpower of successful countries
As the Covid experience shows, countries with strong social & political institutions – notably small countries – consistently out-perform. But big challenges lie ahead.
As countries from Sweden and Denmark to the UK begin to lift remaining Covid restrictions, it is useful to look at the countries that have done ‘best’ in managing the Covid crisis – and why.
The caveat is that Covid will remain with us for some time so things may change. I have noted the winner’s curse: countries that do well in one phase of Covid have often under-performed subsequently. But after almost two years of the pandemic, some assessments can be made.
To put some structure on this, I construct a simple index of overall performance in managing Covid. This index includes measures of excess deaths per capita over the Covid period; strength in GDP performance since Q1 2020; and the average stringency of Covid restrictions.
There is some geographic variation, with many Asian economies – from Taiwan to Singapore and New Zealand – having done well in keeping Covid cases and deaths down, through tough approaches to containment, as well as generating strong economic outcomes. Lookin…