IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Expert endorsement and the legitimacy of public policy. Evidence from Covid19 mitigation strategies


  • Bogliacino, Francesco

    (Universidad Nacional de Colombia)

  • Gómez, Camilo Ernesto

    (Centro de Investigaciones para el Desarrollo)

  • Montealegre, Felipe

    (Universidad Nacional de Colombia)

  • Charris, Rafael Alberto

    (Universidad Nacional de Colombia)

  • codagnone, cristiano


During a pandemic, the government requires active compliance by citizens. While these demands can be enforced with rewards and punishments, legitimacy allows the government to achieve the same results with greater cost effectiveness. In this article, we measure revealed legitimacy through support of three potential mitigation strategies against Covid19, when they are defended using expert endorsement, consultation by civil society, and mediation between opposing interests. We elicit approval of the supporting arguments and of the communication strategy. Our methodological choice was to randomly assign participants to either a non-conflicting priming or to one that emphasizes the risks involved, (e.g. connection between health and economy, uncertainty, and economic costs). The data come from an online experiment we conducted as part of a longitudinal study of several countries. The countries included are Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom. The results show that the support of experts in non-controversial domains is preferred (consensus of value, low uncertainty, diffuse rents). Contrary to our hypotheses, we found that citizen deliberation is not preferred under high epistemic uncertainty, and mediation is either indifferent or not preferred under conflict of value and conflict of interest.

Suggested Citation

  • Bogliacino, Francesco & Gómez, Camilo Ernesto & Montealegre, Felipe & Charris, Rafael Alberto & codagnone, cristiano, 2021. "Expert endorsement and the legitimacy of public policy. Evidence from Covid19 mitigation strategies," SocArXiv zbqjd, Center for Open Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:osf:socarx:zbqjd
    DOI: 10.31219/

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    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

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bicchieri, Cristina & Dimant, Eugen & Gächter, Simon & Nosenzo, Daniele, 2022. "Social proximity and the erosion of norm compliance," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 59-72.
    2. Bogliacino, Francesco & Codagnone, Cristiano & Veltri, Giuseppe Alessandro, 2019. "Citizens–experts’ interactions under different institutional arrangements: assessing the role of uncertainty, interests, and values," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(5), pages 861-879, October.
    3. Khemani,Stuti, 2020. "An Opportunity to Build Legitimacy and Trust in Public Institutions in the Time of COVID-19," Research and Policy Briefs 148256, The World Bank.
    4. Alexander Chudik & M. Hashem Pesaran & Alessandro Rebucci, 2020. "Voluntary and Mandatory Social Distancing: Evidence on COVID-19 Exposure Rates from Chinese Provinces and Selected Countries," Globalization Institute Working Papers 382, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    5. Edward P. Lazear & Kathryn L. Shaw & Christopher T. Stanton, 2018. "Who Gets Hired? The Importance of Competition among Applicants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(S1), pages 133-181.
    6. Ekaterina Zhuravskaya & Maria Petrova & Ruben Enikolopov, 2020. "Political Effects of the Internet and Social Media," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 12(1), pages 415-438, August.
    7. Cristina Bicchieri & Eugen Dimant & Simon Gaechter & Daniele Nosenzo, 2020. "Observability, Social Proximity, and the Erosion of Norm Compliance," CESifo Working Paper Series 8212, CESifo.
    8. Archishman Chakraborty & Parikshit Ghosh & Jaideep Roy, 2020. "Expert-Captured Democracies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 110(6), pages 1713-1751, June.
    9. Dominic H. P. Balog-Way & Katherine A. McComas, 2020. "COVID-19: Reflections on trust, tradeoffs, and preparedness," Journal of Risk Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(7-8), pages 838-848, August.
    10. Tim Johnson & Christopher T. Dawes & James H. Fowler & Oleg Smirnov, 2020. "Slowing COVID-19 transmission as a social dilemma: Lessons for government officials from interdisciplinary research on cooperation," Journal of Behavioral Public Administration, Center for Experimental and Behavioral Public Administration, vol. 3(1).
    11. Government of India, 2017. "National Health Policy 2017," Working Papers id:11664, eSocialSciences.
    12. Daoust, Jean-François & Nadeau, Richard & Dassonneville, Ruth & Lachapelle, Erick & Bélanger, Éric & Savoie, Justin & van der Linden, Clifton, 2020. "How to survey citizens’ compliance with COVID-19 public health measures? Evidence from three survey experiments," SocArXiv gursd, Center for Open Science.
    13. Andrea Saltelli & Monica Fiore, 2020. "From sociology of quantification to ethics of quantification," Palgrave Communications, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 7(1), pages 1-8, December.
    14. Bicchieri,Cristina, 2006. "The Grammar of Society," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521574907, November.
    15. George A. Akerlof, 1980. "A Theory of Social Custom, of which Unemployment may be One Consequence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 94(4), pages 749-775.
    16. Cristiano Codagnone & Francesco Bogliacino & Camilo Gómez & Rafael Charris & Felipe Montealegre & Giovanni Liva & Francisco Lupiáñez-Villanueva & Frans Folkvord & Giuseppe A Veltri, 2020. "Assessing concerns for the economic consequence of the COVID-19 response and mental health problems associated with economic vulnerability and negative economic shock in Italy, Spain, and the United K," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 15(10), pages 1-16, October.
    17. Jeffrey D. Wall & Prashant Palvia & Paul Benjamin Lowry, 2013. "Control-Related Motivations and Information Security Policy Compliance: The Role of Autonomy and Efficacy," Journal of Information Privacy and Security, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(4), pages 52-79, October.
    18. Francesco Bogliacino & Cristiano Codagnone & Giuseppe Veltri, 2015. "The Behavioural Turn in Consumer Policy: Perspectives and Clarifi cations," Intereconomics: Review of European Economic Policy, Springer;ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics;Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), vol. 50(2), pages 108-114, March.
    19. Moshe Maor, 2014. "Policy persistence, risk estimation and policy underreaction," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 47(4), pages 425-443, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    RePEc Biblio mentions

    As found on the RePEc Biblio, the curated bibliography for Economics:
    1. > Economics of Welfare > Health Economics > Economics of Pandemics > Specific pandemics > Covid-19 > Behavioral issues


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Agranov, Marina & Elliott, Matt & Ortoleva, Pietro, 2021. "The importance of Social Norms against Strategic Effects: The case of Covid-19 vaccine uptake," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 206(C).
    2. Ali Farazmand & Hasan Danaeefard & Seyed Hosein Kazemi, 2024. "The Nexus of Policy Legitimacy and Crisismanship Performance: Examining the Harmonizing Role of Value-Based Decision Making," Public Organization Review, Springer, vol. 24(2), pages 521-538, June.

    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. te Velde, Vera L. & Louis, Winnifred, 2022. "Conformity to descriptive norms," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 200(C), pages 204-222.
    2. Schunk, Daniel & Wagner, Valentin, 2021. "What determines the willingness to sanction violations of newly introduced social norms: Personality traits or economic preferences? evidence from the COVID-19 crisis," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 93(C).
    3. Johannes Buckenmaier & Eugen Dimant & Ann-Christin Posten & Ulrich Schmidt, 2021. "Efficient Institutions and Effective Deterrence: On Timing and Uncertainty of Formal Sanctions," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 62(2), pages 177-201, April.
    4. Cristina Bicchieri & Enrique Fatas & Abraham Aldama & Andrés Casas & Ishwari Deshpande & Mariagiulia Lauro & Cristina Parilli & Max Spohn & Paula Pereira & Ruiling Wen, 2021. "In science we (should) trust: Expectations and compliance across nine countries during the COVID-19 pandemic," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 16(6), pages 1-17, June.
    5. Bolton, Gary & Dimant, Eugen & Schmidt, Ulrich, 2021. "Observability and social image: On the robustness and fragility of reciprocity," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 191(C), pages 946-964.
    6. Behnk, Sascha & Hao, Li & Reuben, Ernesto, 2022. "Shifting normative beliefs: On why groups behave more antisocially than individuals," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 145(C).
    7. Hensel, Lukas & Witte, Marc & Caria, A. Stefano & Fetzer, Thiemo & Fiorin, Stefano & Götz, Friedrich M. & Gomez, Margarita & Haushofer, Johannes & Ivchenko, Andriy & Kraft-Todd, Gordon & Reutskaja, El, 2022. "Global Behaviors, Perceptions, and the Emergence of Social Norms at the Onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 193(C), pages 473-496.
    8. Charness, Gary & Schram, Arthur, 2012. "Social and Moral Norms in the Laboratory," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt6rv7x0tf, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
    9. Despoina Alempaki & Genyue Fu & Jingcheng Fu, 2021. "Lying and social norms: a lab-in-the-field experiment with children," Discussion Papers 2021-01, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    10. Bogliacino, Francesco & Codagnone, Cristiano, 2021. "Microfoundations, behaviour, and evolution: Evidence from experiments," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 372-385.
    11. Charness, Gary & Naef, Michael & Sontuoso, Alessandro, 2019. "Opportunistic conformism," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 180(C), pages 100-134.
    12. Eugen Dimant, 2020. "Hate Trumps Love: The Impact of Political Polarization on Social Preferences," ECONtribute Discussion Papers Series 029, University of Bonn and University of Cologne, Germany.
    13. Dimant, Eugen, 2015. "On Peer Effects: Behavioral Contagion of (Un)Ethical Behavior and the Role of Social Identity," MPRA Paper 68732, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Anil Alpman, 2013. "The Relevance of Social Norms for Economic Efficiency: Theory and its Empirical Test," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 13038r, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne, revised Aug 2013.
    15. Liza Charroin & Bernard Fortin & Marie Claire Villeval, 2022. "Peer effects, self-selection and dishonesty," Post-Print hal-03712450, HAL.
    16. Golman, Russell, 2023. "Acceptable discourse: Social norms of beliefs and opinions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 160(C).
    17. Baul, Tushi, 2013. "Self-selection and peer-effects in experimental labor markets," ISU General Staff Papers 201301010800004327, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    18. Nyborg, Karine, 2019. "Humans in the perfectly competitive market," Memorandum 2/2019, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    19. Thomas Neuber, 2021. "Egocentric Norm Adoption," CRC TR 224 Discussion Paper Series crctr224_2021_323, University of Bonn and University of Mannheim, Germany.
    20. Charroin, Liza & Fortin, Bernard & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2022. "Peer effects, self-selection and dishonesty," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 200(C), pages 618-637.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    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:osf:socarx:zbqjd. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    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: OSF (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.