European University Institute

The Covid-19 Mortality Model Challenges Project

In a new project, a team of scholars including SPS Professor Miriam Golden, explore how country and government features relate to Covid-19 mortality.

16/09/2021 | News - Research

The Covid-19 Mortality Model Challenges project took shape towards the end of 2020, as a trans-institutional collaboration, including  the European University Institute (EUI), Stanford University’s Center for Latin American Studies, Berlin Social Science Center (WZB), University of California Riverside, and the University of Toronto’s Department of Economics.

The project aimed to harness the collective capacity of social scientists to better understand cross-national and sub-national patterns of COVID-19 mortalities. It challenged each team to build a statistical model using political and social variables to predict future COVID-19 mortality numbers as of 31 August 2021.

The research team, including SPS Professor Miriam Golden (EUI) and Alexandra Scacco (WZB), focused on building statistical models predicting Covid-19 mortality based on the existing data

Through this initiative, they asked scholars across institutions to build their own statistical models that predict future COVID-19 mortality across and within select countries (Mexico, India, USA). The idea was to crowdsource ideas and for scholars to work with the data assembled so far.

At this stage of the project, the team has been currently reaching out to social scientists around the globe to solve the puzzle of how political and social features of countries relate to cumulative COVID-19 deaths: Does democracy save lives? Do female political leaders respond more effectively to public health crises? Are ethnically diverse societies more vulnerable to COVID-19?

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