Containment Measures and Business Confidence in COVID Times: A Global Study

Paula Margaretic, Diego Finchelstein, Agustín Sotelo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this article, we take a global perspective to assess the impact of the exogenous COVID pandemic shock on business confidence. Through a quantitative analysis of 31 advanced and 12 emerging economies over the period from January 2018 to December 2020, we provide a novel investigation of a unique worldwide event, in contrast to the most frequent exogenous shocks, which typically have a more limited local or regional scope. We proxy business expectations with the business confidence indicator or BCI. First, we find that the containment measures for the COVID pandemic have negatively affected business confidence, with the compulsory policies having a greater negative effect on BCI than the voluntary ones. Second, we find positive spillover effects on the local BCIs from the containment measures implemented in neighboring countries. This suggests that business people are not against compulsory measures per se, but rather that they are less inclined to assume the costs of these. Third, we find that while the severity of containment measures has been greater in emerging countries, the negative impact on BCI of these containment measures has been larger in advanced economies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)372-413
Number of pages42
JournalManagement and Organization Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - 10 Apr 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • business confidence
  • containment measures
  • spillover effects


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