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Motivated Beliefs and the Elderly's Compliance With Covid-19 Measures


  • Ferdinand von Siemens


Although the elderly are more vulnerable to COVID-19, the empirical evidence suggests that they do not behave more cautiously in the pandemic than younger individuals. This theoretical model argues that some individuals might not comply with the COVID-19 measures to reassure themselves that they are not vulnerable, and that the incentives for such self-signaling can be stronger for the elderly. The results suggest that communication strategies emphasizing the dangers of COVID-19 could backfire and reduce compliance among the elderly.

Suggested Citation

  • Ferdinand von Siemens, 2021. "Motivated Beliefs and the Elderly's Compliance With Covid-19 Measures," CESifo Working Paper Series 8832, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_8832

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jean Tirole & Roland Bénabou, 2006. "Incentives and Prosocial Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1652-1678, December.
    2. Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2011. "Identity, Morals, and Taboos: Beliefs as Assets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 126(2), pages 805-855.
    3. Andrew T. Levin & William P. Hanage & Nana Owusu-Boaitey & Kensington B. Cochran & Seamus P. Walsh & Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz, 2020. "Assessing the Age Specificity of Infection Fatality Rates for COVID-19: Systematic Review, Meta-analysis, & Public Policy Implications," NBER Working Papers 27597, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Russell Golman & David Hagmann & George Loewenstein, 2017. "Information Avoidance," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 55(1), pages 96-135, March.
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    More about this item


    motivated beliefs; compliance behaviour; age; health; Covid-19;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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