Exploring East Asia’s Successful Early-Stage Covid-19 Response: An Empirical Investigation

Kee Hoon Chung, Haeil Jung, Miyeun Jung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examines whether a degree of autocracy and high quality of bureaucracy—two mechanisms often discussed in the context of Covid-19 responses—provide a meaningful explanation for East Asia’s relative success compared to the rest of the world at the beginning of the Covid pandemic. Our multiple regression analysis for 111 countries supports our expectation, as East Asia as a region is significantly and negatively associated with confirmed Covid-19 cases and deaths compared to the rest of the world, and its interaction with the quality of bureaucracy further contributes to the negative association. In sum, this research highlights the important role of East Asia’s regional characteristics in pandemic responses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of East Asian Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2024 Mar 19

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), 2024.


  • autocracy
  • Covid-19 responses
  • democracy
  • East Asia
  • quality of bureaucracy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Political Science and International Relations


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