World Development, vol.141, 2021 (SSCI)
© 2021 Elsevier LtdWhy have some countries done significantly better than others in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic? Had some countries been better prepared than others? This paper attempts to shed light on these questions by examining the role of climate risk and culture in explaining the cross-country variation in the Covid-19 mortality, while controlling for other potential drivers. In our analysis, we consider climate risk, readiness to climate change and individualism as main indicators reflecting the climate and culture status of individual countries. Using data from 110 countries, we find that the greater the climate risk; the lower the readiness to climate change and the more individualistic the society, the higher the pandemic mortality rate. We also present a series of sensitivity checks and show that our findings are robust to different specifications, alternative definitions of the mortality rate; and different estimation methods. One policy implication arising from our results is that countries that were better prepared for the climate emergency were also better placed to fight the pandemic. Overall, countries in which individuals look after each other and the environment, creating sustainable societies, are better able to cope with climate and public health emergencies.