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Asocial capital: Civic culture and social distancing during COVID-19

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  • Ruben Durante
  • Luigi Guiso
  • Giorgio Gulino

Abstract

Social distancing can slow the spread of COVID-19 if citizens comply with it and internalize the cost of their mobility on others. We study how civic values mediate this process using data on mobility across Italian provinces between January and May 2020. We find robust evidence that after the virus outbreak mobility declined, but significantly more in areas with higher civic capital, both before and after a mandatory national lockdown. Simulating a SIR model calibrated on Italy, we estimate that if all provinces had the same civic capital as those in top-quartile, COVID-related deaths would have been ten times lower.

Suggested Citation

  • Ruben Durante & Luigi Guiso & Giorgio Gulino, 2020. "Asocial capital: Civic culture and social distancing during COVID-19," Economics Working Papers 1723, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:1723
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    Cited by:

    1. Steven Stillman & Mirco Tonin, 2021. "Communities and Testing for Covid-19," BEMPS - Bozen Economics & Management Paper Series BEMPS79, Faculty of Economics and Management at the Free University of Bozen.
    2. Aksoy Cevat Giray & Antonio Cabrales & Mathias Dolls & Windsteiger Lisa, 2020. "COVID-19, Trust and Solidarity in the EU," EconPol Policy Reports 27, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    3. Jakina Debnam Guzman & Marie Christelle Mabeu & Roland Pongou, 2021. "Identity During a Pandemic: COVID-19 and Ethnic Divisions in the United States," Working Papers 2101E Classification-I14,, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
    4. Egorov, Georgy & Enikolopov, Ruben & Makarin, Alexey & Petrova, Maria, 2021. "Divided we stay home: Social distancing and ethnic diversity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 194(C).
    5. Bello, Piera & Rocco, Lorenzo, 2021. "Education, Information, and COVID-19 Excess Mortality," IZA Discussion Papers 14402, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Clemens Fuest & Lea Immel & Florian Neumeier & Andreas Peichl, 2021. "Does Expert Information Affect Citizens' Attitudes toward Corona Policies? Evidence from Germany," CESifo Working Paper Series 9024, CESifo.
    7. Gianmarco Daniele & Andrea F.M. Martinangeli & Francesco Passarelli & Willem Sas & Lisa Windsteiger, 2020. "Wind of Change? Experimental Survey Evidence on the Covid-19 Shock and Socio-Political Attitudes in Europe," CESifo Working Paper Series 8517, CESifo.
    8. Barrios, John M. & Benmelech, Efraim & Hochberg, Yael V. & Sapienza, Paola & Zingales, Luigi, 2021. "Civic capital and social distancing during the Covid-19 pandemic☆," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 193(C).
    9. Bargain, Olivier & Aminjonov, Ulugbek, 2020. "Trust and compliance to public health policies in times of COVID-19," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 192(C).
    10. Borgonovi, Francesca & Andrieu, Elodie & Subramanian, S.V., 2021. "The evolution of the association between community level social capital and COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations in the United States," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 278(C).
    11. 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.
    12. Guccio, Calogero, 2021. "Measuring resilience and fatality rate during the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic in Northern Italy: a note," EconStor Preprints 231374, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    13. Deiana, Claudio & Geraci, Andrea & Mazzarella, Gianluca & Sabatini, Fabio, 2021. "COVID-19 Relief Programs and Compliance with Confinement Measures," IZA Discussion Papers 14064, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    14. Ryan P. Badman & Yunxin Wu & Keigo Inukai & Rei Akaishi, 2021. "Blessing or Curse of Democracy?: Current Evidence from the Covid-19 Pandemic," Papers 2105.10865, arXiv.org.
    15. Lange, Martin & Monscheuer, Ole, 2021. "Spreading the disease: Protest in times of pandemics," ZEW Discussion Papers 21-009, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    16. Bazzi, Samuel & Fiszbein, Martin & Gebresilasse, Mesay, 2021. "“Rugged individualism” and collective (in)action during the COVID-19 pandemic," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 195(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    civic capital; Culture; Externalities; social distancing; COVID-19;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

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