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Political polarization, social fragmentation, and cooperation during a pandemic

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  • Kirsten Cornelson
  • Boriana Miloucheva

Abstract

We study the impact of political polarization on the willingness of people to comply with social distancing directives during the COVID-19 pandemic. We find a reduced compliance with these measures when the state governor differs from the preferred party of survey respondents. Exploring a number of possible mechanisms, we show that these results are strongest in states where the opposing party's advocates are more hostile and provide evidence that compliance is low when recommendations come from an out-group member. This paper, more broadly, demonstrates the consequences of political polarization on the willingness to contribute to public goods.

Suggested Citation

  • Kirsten Cornelson & Boriana Miloucheva, 2020. "Political polarization, social fragmentation, and cooperation during a pandemic," Working Papers tecipa-663, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:tecipa-663
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. Andrew C. Eggers & Anthony Fowler & Jens Hainmueller & Andrew B. Hall & James M. Snyder, 2015. "On the Validity of the Regression Discontinuity Design for Estimating Electoral Effects: New Evidence from Over 40,000 Close Races," American Journal of Political Science, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 59(1), pages 259-274, January.
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    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 > Politics

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    Cited by:

    1. Adam Brzezinski & Valentin Kecht & David Dijcke & Austin L. Wright, 2021. "Science skepticism reduced compliance with COVID-19 shelter-in-place policies in the United States," Nature Human Behaviour, Nature, vol. 5(11), pages 1519-1527, November.
    2. Adam Brzezinski & Valentin Kecht & David Van Dijcke & Austin L. Wright, 2020. "Belief in Science Influences Physical Distancing in Response to COVID-19 Lockdown Policies," Working Papers 2020-56, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.
    3. Damon C. Roberts & Stephen M. Utych, 2021. "Polarized social distancing: Residents of Republican‐majority counties spend more time away from home during the COVID‐19 crisis," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 102(6), pages 2516-2527, November.
    4. Aassve,Arnstein & Capezzone,Tommaso & Cavalli,Nicolo’ & Conzo,Pierluigi & Peng,Chen, 2022. "Trust in the time of coronavirus: longitudinal evidence from the United States," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 202203, University of Turin.
    5. 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).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Polarization; health;

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics

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