The Political Economy of COVID-19



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This dissertation studies the COVID-19 pandemic broadly through the lens of political economy, focusing on the social, entrepreneurial, and political implications of the pandemic. The first chapter examines what has happened to commercial relationships and friendships throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. While many have discussed the toll the pandemic took on general friendships and relationships, none have discussed what happened to commercial friendships during the pandemic. The second chapter studies entrepreneurship during the COVID-19 pandemic. The entrepreneurship literature discusses many different types of crisis entrepreneurs, like natural disaster entrepreneurs and conflict entrepreneurs. This chapter situates and defines pandemic entrepreneurship within the broader crisis entrepreneurship literature. The last chapter applies the median voter theorem to the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly to US governors’ mask mandates. It analyzes whether governors followed public health concerns or catered to voter preferences on mask mandates, when the two were in contention.



Commercial Friendships, COVID-19, Entrepreneurship, Mask Mandates, Median Voter