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Economic preferences and compliance in the social stress test of the COVID-19 crisis

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  • Müller, Stephan
  • Rau, Holger A.

Abstract

We analyze in a survey study whether economic preferences and pre-crisis social responsibility predict social compliance to the policy regulations. Results show that economic preferences are closely related to compliance with policies fighting the crisis. Risk tolerance negatively affects citizens’ avoidance of crowds, whereas patience helps to do so and to stay home. Present-biased subjects engage in panic buying. Risk tolerance is negatively related with the fear of COVID-19 and trust positively resonates with positive media perception. Pre-crisis social responsible behavior related to fare evasion, turnout, support of vaccination is also positively related with social compliance. Our findings offer insights, which may help policy-makers and organizations to identify risk groups and regions for the allocation of scarce medical or surveillance resources, such as vaccines, masks, and law enforcement.

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  • Müller, Stephan & Rau, Holger A., 2021. "Economic preferences and compliance in the social stress test of the COVID-19 crisis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 194(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:194:y:2021:i:c:s0047272720301869
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2020.104322
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    2. Jeworrek, Sabrina & Waibel, Joschka, 2021. "Alone at home: The impact of social distancing on norm-consistent behavior," IWH Discussion Papers 8/2021, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Compliance; COVID-19; Experiment; Preferences; Social responsibility;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • H12 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Crisis Management
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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