Comparative Politics

Political Regime and Suspected COVID-19 Death Data Manipulation



The COVID-19 pandemic—the worst one since the Spanish flu—has dramatically changed the world, with a great number of people still suffering and dying from the dis-ease. Some scholars argue that the pandemic has severely damaged democratic coun-tries, mainly because these cannot intervene in their citizens’ lives, as opposed to their authoritarian counterparts. Another study challenges this view and suggests that authori-tarian countries manipulate data on COVID-19-related deaths. This paper aims to deter-mine which view is more persuasive using cross-national data. This article uses statisti-cal evidence to reveal that authoritarian countries are likely to manipulate the data. The result implies that, with this successful manipulation, authoritarian states can strengthen citizens’ support for their governments through the COVID-19 pandemic.


Thumbnail image of Political Regime and Suspected COVID-19 Death Data Manipulation_20201018.pdf


Log in or register with APSA to comment
Comments are not moderated before they are posted, but they can be removed by the site moderators if they are found to be in contravention of our Commenting and Discussion Policy [opens in a new tab] – please read this policy before you post. Comments should be used for scholarly discussion of the content in question. You can find more information about how to use the commenting feature here [opens in a new tab] .