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Economic preferences and compliance in the social stress test of the COVID-19 crisis

Stephan Müller and Holger A. Rau

Journal of Public Economics, 2021, vol. 194, issue C

Abstract: We analyze in a survey study whether economic preferences and pre-crisis social responsibility predict social compliance to the policy regulations. Results show that economic preferences are closely related to compliance with policies fighting the crisis. Risk tolerance negatively affects citizens’ avoidance of crowds, whereas patience helps to do so and to stay home. Present-biased subjects engage in panic buying. Risk tolerance is negatively related with the fear of COVID-19 and trust positively resonates with positive media perception. Pre-crisis social responsible behavior related to fare evasion, turnout, support of vaccination is also positively related with social compliance. Our findings offer insights, which may help policy-makers and organizations to identify risk groups and regions for the allocation of scarce medical or surveillance resources, such as vaccines, masks, and law enforcement.

Keywords: Compliance; COVID-19; Experiment; Preferences; Social responsibility (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 D81 H12 H41 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2020.104322

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