Socio-cultural values are risk factors for COVID-19-related mortality

Cross-Cultural Research Vol/Iss. 56(2-3) Sage Journals Published In Pages: 150-184
By Endress, Ansgar D.


This paper proposes that the socio-cultural values of countries may be associated with increased mortality due to COVID-19. Using results from the World Values survey, the author assessed which values had the strongest association with a change in COVID-19 mortality in datasets consisting of all countries, upper-middle and high income economies, upper-middle income economies, high income economies, and advanced economies. The author also sought to determine whether the WVS values that were associated with COVID-19 mortality were also associated with general life expectancy. The results showed that COVID-19 mortality was increased in countries that placed a higher value on freedom of speech, political participation, religion, technocracy, post-materialism, social tolerance, law and order, and acceptance of authority. On the other hand, mortality was decreased in countries with high trust in major companies and institutions and that endorsed maintenance of order as a goal for a country. The author also found that values related to COVID-19 mortality did not predict general health outcomes, and that some values that predicted increased COVID-19 mortality actually predicted decreased mortality from other outcomes.


The author provided a series of controls to attempt to control for confounding factors related to COVID-19 death, including per capita GDP, the proportion of the population older than 65, the proportion of the population living in urban areas, the prevalence of tobacco smoking, the proportion of out-of-pocket health expenditure, governmental delay in responding to the pandemic, the prevalence of overweight citizens, government effectiveness, and rule of law. The author also accounted for strongly correlated WVS factors.


Sample Used Coded Data Comment
World Values SurveyOther researchers
Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering (JHU SSE) COVID-19 DashboardOther researchersConfirmed COVID-19 related deaths

Documents and Hypotheses Filed By:jacob.kalodner