Cipullo D, Le Moglie M
Eur J Polit Econ 72 (-) 102118 [2022-03-00; online 2021-09-16]
The possibility to run fair electoral campaigns is necessary for the legitimization of modern democracies through elections. Yet, during a pandemic, the risk that electoral campaigns would enhance the spread of the disease is substantive. In this paper, we estimate the causal impact of electoral campaigns on the spread of COVID-19. Exploiting plausibly exogenous variation in the schedule of local elections across Italy, we show that the electoral campaign preceding this latter led to a significant worsening of the epidemiological situation related to the disease. Our results strongly highlight the importance of undertaking stringent measures along the entire electoral process to minimize its epidemiological consequences.