Are distributional preferences for safety stable? A longitudinal analysis before and after the COVID-19 outbreak
Judith Covey and
Social Science & Medicine, 2023, vol. 324, issue C
Policy makers aim to respect public preferences when making trade-offs between policies, yet most estimates of the value of safety neglect individuals' preferences over how safety is distributed. Incorporating these preferences into policy first requires measuring them. Arroyos-Calvera et al. (2019) documented that people cared most about efficiency, but that equity followed closely, and self-interest mattered too, but not enough to override preferences for efficiency and equity. Early 2020 saw the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. This event would impose major changes in how people perceived and experienced risk to life, creating an opportunity to test whether safety-related preferences are stable and robust to important contextual changes. Further developing Arroyos-Calvera et al.’s methodology and re-inviting an international general population sample of participants that had taken part in pre-pandemic online surveys in 2017 and 2018, we collected an April 2020 wave of the survey and showed that overall preferences for efficiency, equity and self-interest were remarkably stable before and after the pandemic outbreak. We hope this offers policy makers reassurance that once these preferences have been elicited from a representative sample of the population, they need not be re-estimated after important contextual changes.
Keywords: Efficiency; Equity; Self-interest; Risk; Preference stability (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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