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The prosociality of married people: Evidence from a large multinational sample


  • Sylvie Borau

    (TBS - Toulouse Business School)

  • Hélène Couprie

    (LEST - Laboratoire d'Economie et de Sociologie du Travail - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Astrid Hopfensitz

    (GATE - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - ENS LSH - Ecole Normale Supérieure Lettres et Sciences Humaines - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, EM - EMLyon Business School)


Single people are more likely to die from COVID-19. Here, we study whether this higher death rate could be partly explained by differences in compliance with protective health measures against COVID-19 between single and married people, and the drivers of this marital compliance gap. Data collected from 46,450 respondents in 67 countries reveal that married people are more likely to comply with protective measures than single people. This marital gap in compliance is higher for men (approximately 5%) than for women (approximately 2%). These results are robust across a large range of countries and independent of country level differences with respect to culture, values or infection rates. Prosocial characteristics linked to morality and social belonging explain more than 38% of the marital gap, while individual risk perceptions play a minor role. These findings help explain single people's and particularly single men's greater vulnerability to COVID-19, which in turn can be leveraged to improve the effectiveness of international public policy campaigns aimed at promoting protective health measures.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Sylvie Borau & Hélène Couprie & Astrid Hopfensitz, 2022. "The prosociality of married people: Evidence from a large multinational sample," Post-Print hal-03762598, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-03762598
    DOI: 10.1016/j.joep.2022.102545

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