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Go Corona Go! Cultural beliefs and social norms in India during COVID-19


  • Anirudh Tagat

    (Department of Economics, Monk Prayogshala)

  • Hansika Kapoor

    (Department of Psychology, Monk Prayogshala)


As of April 2020, it had been nearly 100 days since the first COVID-19 case was found in India, and a 3-week lockdown across the country was enforced to implement social distancing as a measure to contain the spread of the virus. India has combated a few epidemics in the past, from which health policy and epidemic response have been refined. However, there are likely to be religious, spiritual, and social dimensions of individual response to such measures that could put these policy efforts at risk. We outline a set of behavioral interventions taking into account potential cultural correlates specific to India. In order to mitigate the increasing spread of COVID-19 in India, policymakers can consider incorporating these elements when designing communication and prevention strategies. We argue that such interventions might ensure that behaviour change is sustained even after the formal lockdown period.

Suggested Citation

  • Anirudh Tagat & Hansika Kapoor, 2020. "Go Corona Go! Cultural beliefs and social norms in India during COVID-19," Journal of Behavioral Economics for Policy, Society for the Advancement of Behavioral Economics (SABE), vol. 4(S), pages 9-15, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:beh:jbepv1:v:4:y:2020:i:s:p:9-15

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Michelle Baddeley, 2020. "COVID-19 2020: A year of living dangerously," Journal of Behavioral Economics for Policy, Society for the Advancement of Behavioral Economics (SABE), vol. 4(S3), pages 5-9, December.
    2. Bicalho, Clara & Platas, Melina R. & Rosenzweig, Leah R., 2021. "“If we move, it moves with us:” Physical distancing in Africa during COVID-19," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 142(C).

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    More about this item


    availability; heuristics; social norms; public health; cultural beliefs;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • D9 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics


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