IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/spr/jopoec/v34y2021i2d10.1007_s00148-020-00818-x.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Socio-demographic factors associated with self-protecting behavior during the Covid-19 pandemic

Author

Listed:
  • Nicholas W. Papageorge

    (Johns Hopkins University)

  • Matthew V. Zahn

    (Johns Hopkins University)

  • Michèle Belot

    (Cornell University and IZA)

  • Eline Broek-Altenburg

    (University of Vermont)

  • Syngjoo Choi

    (Seoul National University)

  • Julian C. Jamison

    (University of Exeter Business School)

  • Egon Tripodi

    (University of Essex)

Abstract

Given the role of human behavior in the spread of disease, it is vital to understand what drives people to engage in or refrain from health-related behaviors during a pandemic. This paper examines factors associated with the adoption of self-protective health behaviors, such as social distancing and mask wearing, at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in the USA. These behaviors not only reduce an individual’s own risk of infection but also limit the spread of disease to others. Despite these dual benefits, universal adoption of these behaviors is not assured. We focus on the role of socioeconomic differences in explaining behavior, relying on data collected in April 2020 during the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic. The data include information on income, gender and race along with unique variables relevant to the current pandemic, such as work arrangements and housing quality. We find that higher income is associated with larger changes in self-protective behaviors. These gradients are partially explained by the fact that people with less income are more likely to report circumstances that make adopting self-protective behaviors more difficult, such as an inability to tele-work. Both in the USA and elsewhere, policies that assume universal compliance with self-protective measures—or that otherwise do not account for socioeconomic differences in the costs of doing so—are unlikely to be effective or sustainable.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicholas W. Papageorge & Matthew V. Zahn & Michèle Belot & Eline Broek-Altenburg & Syngjoo Choi & Julian C. Jamison & Egon Tripodi, 2021. "Socio-demographic factors associated with self-protecting behavior during the Covid-19 pandemic," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 34(2), pages 691-738, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:34:y:2021:i:2:d:10.1007_s00148-020-00818-x
    DOI: 10.1007/s00148-020-00818-x
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s00148-020-00818-x
    File Function: Abstract
    Download Restriction: Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted.

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1007/s00148-020-00818-x?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Wright, Austin L. & Sonin, Konstantin & Driscoll, Jesse & Wilson, Jarnickae, 2020. "Poverty and economic dislocation reduce compliance with COVID-19 shelter-in-place protocols," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 180(C), pages 544-554.
    2. Luca Bonacini & Giovanni Gallo & Fabrizio Patriarca, 2021. "Identifying policy challenges of COVID-19 in hardly reliable data and judging the success of lockdown measures," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 34(1), pages 275-301, January.
    3. Manski, Charles F. & Molinari, Francesca, 2021. "Estimating the COVID-19 infection rate: Anatomy of an inference problem," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 220(1), pages 181-192.
    4. Allcott, Hunt & Boxell, Levi & Conway, Jacob & Gentzkow, Matthew & Thaler, Michael & Yang, David, 2020. "Polarization and public health: Partisan differences in social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 191(C).
    5. Borjas, George J., 2020. "Demographic Determinants of Testing Incidence and COVID-19 Infections in New York City Neighborhoods," IZA Discussion Papers 13115, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Daniel Barth & Nicholas W. Papageorge & Kevin Thom, 2020. "Genetic Endowments and Wealth Inequality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 128(4), pages 1474-1522.
    7. Klaus F. Zimmermann & Gokhan Karabulut & Mehmet Huseyin Bilgin & Asli Cansin Doker, 2020. "Inter‐country distancing, globalisation and the coronavirus pandemic," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(6), pages 1484-1498, June.
    8. Jérôme Adda, 2016. "Economic Activity and the Spread of Viral Diseases: Evidence from High Frequency Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 131(2), pages 891-941.
    9. Christopher D. Carroll & Edmund Crawley & Jiri Slacalek & Matthew N. White, 2021. "Modeling the Consumption Response to the CARES Act," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 17(1), pages 107-141, March.
    10. Nicholas W. Papageorge, 2016. "Why medical innovation is valuable: Health, human capital, and the labor market," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 7(3), pages 671-725, November.
    11. Belot, Michèle & Choi, Syngjoo & Jamison, Julian C. & Papageorge, Nicholas W. & Tripodi, Egon & van den Broek-Altenburg, Eline, 2020. "Six-Country Survey on COVID-19," IZA Discussion Papers 13230, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. Beland, Louis-Philippe & Brodeur, Abel & Wright, Taylor, 2020. "COVID-19, Stay-at-Home Orders and Employment: Evidence from CPS Data," GLO Discussion Paper Series 559, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    13. Yun Qiu & Xi Chen & Wei Shi, 2020. "Impacts of social and economic factors on the transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in China," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 33(4), pages 1127-1172, October.
    14. Giuntella, Giovanni & Hyde, Kelly & Saccardo, Silvia & Sadoff, Sally, 2020. "Lifestyle and Mental Health Disruptions During COVID-19," SocArXiv y4xn3, Center for Open Science.
    15. Lesley Chiou & Catherine Tucker, 2020. "Social Distancing, Internet Access and Inequality," NBER Working Papers 26982, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Luca Bonacini & Giovanni Gallo & Sergio Scicchitano, 2021. "Working from home and income inequality: risks of a ‘new normal’ with COVID-19," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 34(1), pages 303-360, January.
    17. Coibion, Olivier & Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & Weber, Michael, 2020. "The Cost of the COVID-19 Crisis: Lockdowns, Macroeconomic Expectations, and Consumer Spending," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt4jn1x65h, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    18. Adams-Prassl, Abi & Boneva, Teodora & Golin, Marta & Rauh, Christopher, 2020. "Inequality in the impact of the coronavirus shock: Evidence from real time surveys," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 189(C).
    19. Gottlieb, Charles & Grobovšek, Jan & Poschke, Markus & Saltiel, Fernando, 2021. "Working from home in developing countries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 133(C).
    20. Fabio Milani, 2021. "COVID-19 outbreak, social response, and early economic effects: a global VAR analysis of cross-country interdependencies," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 34(1), pages 223-252, January.
    21. Titan Alon & Matthias Doepke & Jane Olmstead-Rumsey & Michèle Tertilt, 2020. "The Impact of COVID-19 on Gender Equality," CRC TR 224 Discussion Paper Series crctr224_2020_163, University of Bonn and University of Mannheim, Germany.
    22. Nicholas W. Papageorge & Matthew V. Zahn & Michèle Belot & Eline Broek-Altenburg & Syngjoo Choi & Julian C. Jamison & Egon Tripodi, 2021. "Socio-demographic factors associated with self-protecting behavior during the Covid-19 pandemic," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 34(2), pages 691-738, April.
    23. Shapiro, Joel & Wu, Stephen, 2011. "Fatalism and savings," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 645-651.
    24. Briscese, Guglielmo & Lacetera, Nicola & Macis, Mario & Tonin, Mirco, 2020. "Compliance with COVID-19 Social-Distancing Measures in Italy: The Role of Expectations and Duration," IZA Discussion Papers 13092, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    25. Belot, Michèle & Choi, Syngjoo & Tripodi, Egon & van den Broek-Altenburg, Eline & Jamison, Julian C. & Papageorge, Nicholas W., 2020. "Unequal Consequences of COVID-19 across Age and Income: Representative Evidence from Six Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 13366, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    26. Redmond, Paul & McGuinness, Seamus, 2020. "Who can work from home in Ireland?," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number SUSTAT87.
    27. Adeline Delavande & Michael Perry & Robert Willis, 2006. "Probabilistic Thinking and Early Social Security Claiming," Working Papers wp129, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    28. Tat Y. Chan & Barton H. Hamilton & Nicholas W. Papageorge, 2016. "Health, Risky Behaviour and the Value of Medical Innovation for Infectious Disease," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 83(4), pages 1465-1510.
    29. Lee Lillard & Robert J. Willis, 2001. "Cognition and Wealth: The Importance of Probabilistic Thinking," Working Papers wp007, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Ainaa, Carmen & Brunetti, Irene & Mussida, Chiara & Scicchitano, Sergio, 2021. "Who lost the most? Distributive effects of COVID-19 pandemic," GLO Discussion Paper Series 829, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    2. Maxim Ananyev & Michael Poyker & Yuan Tian, 2021. "The safest time to fly: pandemic response in the era of Fox News," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 34(3), pages 775-802, July.
    3. Abel Brodeur & Idaliya Grigoryeva & Lamis Kattan, 2021. "Stay-at-home orders, social distancing, and trust," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 34(4), pages 1321-1354, October.
    4. Luca Bonacini & Giovanni Gallo & Sergio Scicchitano, 2021. "Working from home and income inequality: risks of a ‘new normal’ with COVID-19," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 34(1), pages 303-360, January.
    5. Luca Bonacini & Giovanni Gallo & Fabrizio Patriarca, 2021. "Identifying policy challenges of COVID-19 in hardly reliable data and judging the success of lockdown measures," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 34(1), pages 275-301, January.
    6. Giovanni Gallo & Michele Raitano, 2020. "SOS incomes: Simulated effects of COVID-19 and emergency benefits on individual and household income distribution in Italy," Working Papers 566, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    7. Domenico Depalo, 2021. "True COVID-19 mortality rates from administrative data," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 34(1), pages 253-274, January.
    8. Adams-Prassl, Abi & Boneva, Teodora & Golin, Marta & Rauh, Christopher, 2020. "Inequality in the impact of the coronavirus shock: Evidence from real time surveys," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 189(C).
    9. Daniel Graeber & Alexander S. Kritikos & Johannes Seebauer, 2021. "COVID-19: a crisis of the female self-employed," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 34(4), pages 1141-1187, October.
    10. Isaure Delaporte & Julia Escobar & Werner Peña, 2021. "The distributional consequences of social distancing on poverty and labour income inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 34(4), pages 1385-1443, October.
    11. Ferdi Botha & John P. New & Sonja C. New & David C. Ribar & Nicolás Salamanca, 2021. "Implications of COVID-19 labour market shocks for inequality in financial wellbeing," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 34(2), pages 655-689, April.
    12. Mauro Caselli & Andrea Fracasso & Sergio Scicchitano, 2020. "From the lockdown to the new normal: An analysis of the limitations to individual mobility in Italy following the Covid-19 crisis," Discussion Paper series in Regional Science & Economic Geography 2020-07, Gran Sasso Science Institute, Social Sciences, revised Oct 2020.
    13. Aditya Goenka & Lin Liu & Manh-Hung Nguyen, 2020. "Modeling optimal quarantines under infectious disease related mortality," Working Papers 202025, University of Liverpool, Department of Economics.
    14. Kubota, So & Onishi, Koichiro & Toyama, Yuta, 2021. "Consumption responses to COVID-19 payments: Evidence from a natural experiment and bank account data," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 188(C), pages 1-17.
    15. Andrew E. Clark & Conchita D'Ambrosio & Anthony Lepinteur, 2020. "The Fall in Income Inequality during COVID-19 in Five European Countries," Working Papers 565, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    16. Eiji Yamamura & Yoshiro Tsustsui, 2021. "School closures and mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 34(4), pages 1261-1298, October.
    17. Brodeur, Abel & Cook, Nikolai & Wright, Taylor, 2021. "On the effects of COVID-19 safer-at-home policies on social distancing, car crashes and pollution," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 106(C).
    18. Andrew E. Clark & Anthony Lepinteur, 2021. "Pandemic Policy and Life Satisfaction in Europe," PSE Working Papers halshs-03202345, HAL.
    19. Gambau, Borja & C. Palomino, Juan & G. Rodríguez, Juan & Sebastian, Raquel, 2021. "COVID-19 restrictions in the US: wage vulnerability by education, race and gender," INET Oxford Working Papers 2021-11, Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford.
    20. Suphanit Piyapromdee & Peter Spittal, 2020. "The Income and Consumption Effects of COVID‐19 and the Role of Public Policy," Fiscal Studies, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 41(4), pages 805-827, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Covid-19; Income inequality; Social distancing; Housing; Work arrangements;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J0 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General
    • H0 - Public Economics - - General
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:34:y:2021:i:2:d:10.1007_s00148-020-00818-x. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Sonal Shukla or Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.