How Context affects Policy Response to COVID-19
The paper brings light to the role that the context of a country plays in influencing the policy response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We argue that policy-makers take into consideration contextual factors that are specific to their country while making policy choices. Drawing from the argument, we go on to identify nine contextual factors that are likely to influence country responses to COVID-19. These factors are brought together into a policy dashboard, which showcases the cumulative effect of context. Further to this we construct a policy response index, which is a measure of expected policy response given a certain configuration of contextual factors. The index is used to form expectations on how the 30 largest countries are likely to respond to COVID-19. The expectations are compared to observed policy choices made by the countries in the early stages of the pandemic. The correlation is positive but low, and we expect higher convergence of observed policy choices with study expectations once there is stability in country policies.