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Discussion Paper

Excess Death Rates for Republicans and Democrats During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Published: September 2022
Researchers sought to understand the linkage between political affiliation and excess COVID-19-related deaths.

Using voter registration and medical data of COVID-19-related deaths, researchers constructed an individual-level dataset to analyze the connection between political affiliation and COVID-19-related fatalities. They found substantially higher excess death rates for registered Republicans when compared to registered Democrats, with the majority of the difference occurring after the release of vaccines to the public. The gap in excess death rates between Republicans and Democrats is concentrated in counties with low vaccination rates and only materializes after vaccines became widely available.

Abstract and Citation

Association Between Political Party Affiliation and Excess Deaths From COVID-19. Jacob Wallace, Paul Goldsmith-Pinkham and Jason L. Schwartz. NBER Working Paper No. 30512. September 2022.